IAPO and The Synergist's Side Event at the 77th World Health Assembly

IAPO and The Synergist's Side Event at the 77th World Health Assembly

Thursday, 11 April 2024

On the sidelines of the 77th World Health Assembly (WHA77) taking place from 27 May to 1 June 2024 in Geneva (Switzerland), the International Alliance of Patients’ Organizations (IAPO) – a Non-State Actor in Official Relations with the WHO – and The Synergist – a non-profit focused on collaborative change programmes – will jointly host the Side Event “Leveraging patient organizations as key partners in the delivery of universal health coverage”.

The Side Event will be held on 27 May 2024, from 18.00 to 20.00, at the Novotel Genève Centre (Rue de Zurich 19, 1201, Geneva).

Welcome drinks from 6 pm to 6:30 pm and dinner from 8 pm to 9 pm CEST.

The event will be broadcast from 6:30 pm CEST on IAPO's YouTube page.

Event speakers include:

  • Dani Mothci, CEO, IAPO (moderator)

  • Amanda Bok, Chief Strategy Officer, The Synergist (moderator)

  • Justin Koonin, President, ACON & Member, Political Advisory Panel for the UHC Movement

  • Kira Koch, Technical Officer, Special Programme on Primary Health Care, World Health Organization

  • Pamela Cipriano, Steering Committee Co-Chair, UHC2030

  • Lara Bloom, President and CEO, The Ehlers-Danlos Society

  • Brian O’Mahony, CEO, Irish Haemophilia Society

  • Mark Barone, Founder and General Manager, Intersectoral Forum of NCCs/NCDs in Brazil (ForumCCNTs)

  • Antoine Boivin, Canada Research Chair in Partnership with Patients and Communities, Université de Montréal


See speakers and moderators' biographies



We are at an exciting yet critical crossroads for the global patient community. Remarkable advancements have been made by patient organizations worldwide, ensuring the meaningful engagement of patients in health systems. This progress is cause for celebration, signifying a growing recognition of the societal and economic value of having patients as co-creators in decision-making processes. However, while acknowledging these achievements, we must also recognise that the full integration of the patient perspective into health systems remains incomplete.

The energy and impetus to drive further change are growing, and the global efforts of the past couple of years present a unique opportunity to propel the patient partnership agenda forward.

In 2021, the WHO launched a Handbook on Social Participation for Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and since then, there has been an increase in the political commitment of its Member States to promote social participation in health decision-making.

In 2023, at a Side Event at the 76th WHA, several Member States announced their intention to pursue a resolution on institutionalising social participation towards UHC at the next WHA in 2024. Later in September, at the United Nations High-level Meeting on UHC, world leaders renewed their commitment to accelerate progress towards achieving UHC and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) by 2030, and also committed their efforts to advancing social participation.

Also in 2023, the WHO launched the “Framework for Meaningful Engagement of Individuals Living with NCDs, Mental Health, and Neurological Conditions”, a technical resource to support the WHO and Member States in fostering substantive involvement of individuals with lived experience, enabling collaborative efforts to develop and improve policies, programs, and services.

In January 2024, the WHO Executive Board decided to recommend to the 77th WHA the adoption of a resolution drafted by the governments of Brazil, Colombia, Croatia, Ecuador, Finland, France, Guatemala, Norway, Qatar, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tunisia and the United States of America, which proposes institutionalising social participation to accelerate progress towards UHC and the SDGs by 2030. If adopted, this political agreement will create the environment for the WHO to develop guidelines for its Member States on how to create effective mechanisms for social participation in health systems.


Join IAPO and The Synergist in this conversation by registering here.

The pursuit of a resolution for institutionalising social participation, allied to the development of a framework for the meaningful engagement of people with lived experience, represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for patient organizations to galvanise their role as valued partners and joint decision-makers of global health systems.

Recognizing and incorporating patients' lived experiences is the only way to ensure that policies and services are responsive to the unique needs, perspectives, contexts and preferences of the communities they serve. Against this backdrop, patient organizations are well-positioned to show how social participation can positively impact health across the entire policy cycle.

The Side Event “Leveraging patient organizations as key partners in the delivery of Universal Health Coverage” also aims to inspire the patient community and other health stakeholders to join forces and garner political endorsement for the resolution, thereby augmenting its prospects for adoption by Member States at the WHA in May 2024.

The event will be broadcast via IAPO YouTube channel to reach a wider audience around the world, and all content of the Side Event will be captured live by a graphic facilitator – attendees and online viewers will be able to follow the drawings being created in real time.


Free registrations are open here - secure your spot! 


This Side Event is being supported by Roche, Boehringer Ingelheim and CSL Behring.