World Health Assembly: 27 May – 1 June 2024 (3) Poorvaprabha Patil is representing HIFA at the World Health Assembly

28 May, 2024

Dear colleagues,

On behalf of HIFA I want to thank HIFA co-moderator and Steering Group member Dr Poorvaprabha Patil, who is representing HIFA at the World Health Assembly 2024. This was all last-minute - we didn't know she would be able to go, but she has now arrived in Geneva and ready to make statements and new connections on our behalf.

Poorvaprabha Patil is a young medical doctor and researcher from India. She completed her medical training at Kasturba Medical College, Manipal; and received an MSc in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), University of London. She 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.

The priority area that is arguably most relevant to HIFA is Universal Health Coverage, which I understand is being addressed today and tomorrow.

We are considering to make the following statement on UHC: "As evidenced during the pandemic, misinformation is amongst the biggest threats to public health. Access to reliable healthcare information is not merely a facilitator but a critical component of achieving Universal Health Coverage. When people lack access to accurate and reliable healthcare information, it diminishes their ability to make informed health decisions, ultimately affecting health outcomes negatively. We urge member states to prioritize access to reliable healthcare information as a cornerstone of their policies on UHC and are committed to supporting member states and the WHO in advancing this crucial work."

We are encouraged by the recent HIFA global survey, with over 2,400 respondents. Their central message is that WHO should champion the goal of universal access to reliable healthcare information, and WHO and HIFA should work together to convene stakeholders to develop a global strategy. We look forward to WHO's response.

Best wishes, Neil

HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of HIFA (Healthcare Information For All), a global health community that brings all stakeholders together around the shared goal of universal access to reliable healthcare information. HIFA has 20,000 members in 180 countries, interacting in four languages and representing all parts of the global evidence ecosystem. HIFA is administered by Global Healthcare Information Network, a UK-based nonprofit in official relations with the World Health Organization. Email: