Poorvaprabha Patil represents HIFA at the World Health Assembly, 21-30 May 2023 (6) Update and reflections (2)

31 May, 2023

Dear HIFA family,

I write about my experience at the WHA 76 as it wrapped up officially today.

My experience was both inspiring and enlightening. The WHA served as a platform for global health leaders, policymakers, and professionals to come together and address critical healthcare challenges. As a clinician, it was fascinating to be a part of such a gathering, and to draw the connect (and the lack thereof) between working on the grassroots and decision-making on a global scale. On a positive note for HIFA, access to healthcare information has gained importance especially after the pandemic and was referred to as an important issue in several statements by member states as well as in discussions happening on the sidelines of the WHA. Some key thematics that came out quite strongly during this WHA were pandemic preparedness, digital health, climate change and health, gender equity among others. While access to healthcare information was a point of discussion in a fragmented way, there is a lot to be done to bring attention to universal access to healthcare information as an important cross-cutting thematic in such high-level decision-making spaces, however, I say this with optimism.

Throughout the event, I actively engaged in discussions on various topics, including gender equity, universal health coverage, pandemic preparedness, climate change and health, among others. It was a unique opportunity to exchange ideas, learn from experts, and collaborate with colleagues from diverse backgrounds. I had the opportunity to discuss HIFA and GHI-Net's innovative approaches to improving access to healthcare information in underserved communities, emphasizing the importance of leveraging technology and fostering partnerships, and to bring an issue I am passionate about - gender equality - to discussions alongside other Women in Global Health delegates.

During the WHA, I also had the opportunity to meet with HIFA colleagues Isabelle, Shams and Keith. Meeting HIFA colleagues at gatherings such as this makes one realise how big and inspiring the HIFA community is!

As this WHA ends, it’s time to reflect on how we could leverage the momentum and advocacy towards future processes.

To others from HIFA that were at the WHA, what are your reflections?

Kind regards,



Dr Poorvaprabha Patil, MBBS, MSPH

Co-moderator, Healthcare Information for All (HIFA)

Trainee Advisory Committee, Consortium of Universities for Global Health

Youth Advisor, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine's (LSHTM) Children, Cities and Climate Action Lab

t: +91 8411827132; w: +91 8446836898

e: drpoorvaprabhapatil@gmail.com

HIFA profile: Poorvaprabha Patil is a young medical doctor and researcher from India. She completed her medical training and Kasturba Medical College, Manipal; and received an MSc in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), University of London. Dr Patil works as a Co-Moderator of Healthcare Information for All and has been a part of HIFA’s Steering Committee since 2016-17. Her professional interests include public health, meaningful youth engagement and gender equality in health. poorvapatil01 AT gmail.com