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SFH to attend 71st World Health Assembly in Geneva
     The Secretary for Food and Health, Professor Sophia Chan, will depart for London, the United Kingdom (UK), tonight (May 16) to meet healthcare professionals there and attend the 71st World Health Assembly (WHA) of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland.

     Professor Chan will attend the 71st WHA on May 21 (Geneva time) as a member of the People's Republic of China delegation. The agenda of this year's assembly will cover a wide range of issues with public health importance requiring global attention and concerted efforts from all member states. Among others, a number of strategic priority matters will be discussed in the meeting, including public health preparedness and response, health and environment and climate change, prevention and control of non-communicable disease, ending tuberculosis and global shortage of, and access to, medicines and vaccines.

     Professor Chan will also take the opportunity to exchange views on healthcare-related issues with top health officials of other member states.

     The WHA is the decision-making body of the WHO. It is attended by delegations from all WHO member states and focuses on a specific health agenda. The main functions of the WHA are to determine the policies of the Organization, supervise financial policies, and review and approve the proposed programme budget.

     Before attending the WHA, Professor Chan will visit London on May 17 and 18 to learn more about the latest developments in genomics and mental health services there.

     During her two-day visit in London, Professor Chan will visit Rethink Mental Illness and Mind UK - two charities focused on mental health that have been promoting destigmatisation under the large-scale Time to Change programme in recent years. In addition, she will meet professionals of Genomics England, which is a company wholly owned by the UK Department of Health and Social Care and was set up to deliver the 100,000 Genomes Project.

     Professor Chan will also attend a round table discussion at Chatham House.

     Before leaving London, she will host a reception for Hong Kong students studying in the UK and Hong Kong young professionals working in the UK. She will introduce to the young people job opportunities and career prospects of the healthcare sector in Hong Kong.

     The Director of Health, Dr Constance Chan, will accompany Professor Chan on the visit.

     Professor Chan will depart Geneva in the morning on May 23 and arrive in Hong Kong on May 24. The Under Secretary for Food and Health, Dr Chui Tak-yi, will be the Acting Secretary for Food and Health during her absence.
Ends/Wednesday, May 16, 2018
Issued at HKT 17:00
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