WRC5 Technical Session: COVID-19 Whole of Society Recovery Priorities for Health System Strengthening Following a Risk Management Approach

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It is vital that countries strategize their recovery actions based on learning from COVID-19, adopting innovations and building on thorough assessments. This will ensure that health systems are consistently building back better towards a sustainable recovery by integrating risk management measures to protect communities from impacts of health emergencies, including future epidemics and pandemics and climate related extreme weather events.

Increasing investment in health systems and all-hazards emergency risk management, e.g. building strong risk informed primary health care, investing in essential public health functions, and institutionalizing mechanisms for whole-of society engagement are necessary for building more resilient and sustainable communities.

In this session, policy options for recovery, pandemic lessons learned, and strategies for strengthening health systems resilience will be discussed. A focus will be put on how research and innovation and capacities built during the pandemic response phase can be systematically leveraged to guide management of health risks in recovery.


Session objectives


  • Highlight the impacts of the pandemic on the health sector, including how it affected vulnerable groups, including women and girls disproportionately.
  • Share lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic and discuss how well informed strategies can be applied to build more resilient health systems that protect communities from crisis.
  • Advocate WHO’s policy approaches for health system recovery, that bring together and integrate PHC based health systems for UHC with health security and essential public health functions.
  • Promote core concepts that apply to operationalizing risk informed Building Back Better, using whole of society and whole of government principles and partnerships from global to national levels focusing on ‘health’ as central to socio-economic recovery and development for a gender sensitive and inclusive post COVID-19 recovery


  • Ms. Emily Chan, Dean, Chinese University of Hong Kong


Welcome Message

  • Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization



  • Mr. Kunta Wibawa Dasa Nugraha, Secretary General, Ministry of Health – Indonesia (Health Sector Chair of ASEAN)
  • Mr. Anil Pokhrel, CEO, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Authority (NDRRMA), Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal
  • Mr. Stefan Kohler, Senior Infrastructure, Resilience and Project Management Advisor, UNOPS
  • Mrs. Pannapa (Aimee) Na Nan, Director of International Cooperation Section at the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM), Ministry of Interior of Thailand
  • Mrs. Clara Rodriguez Ribas Elizalde, Technical Officer, World Health Organization

Learn more

Where do we stand

The COVID-19 pandemic clearly highlighted the gaps and challenges in the preparedness and resilience of even the strongest health systems unmasking the vulnerabilities. While the pandemic caused direct and indirect health impacts as well as socioeconomic ramifications across all parts of societies, it also disproportionately affected vulnerable and marginalized populations, often depleting their resilience and pushing them beyond their coping capacities. The loss from such devastated impacts is unfathomable which pushed back countries’ development gain in many instances, which is a challenge for post COVID recovery.


Session guiding questions

  • What are evidence based actions, countries can take to strengthen all hazard community capacities for risk management driven by the whole of government and society
  • What are priorities for sustainable, green health system recovery towards resilience and health security, with a focus on primary care
  • How can countries prioritize investments in PHC based health system and progress towards UHC, and strengthening of Essential Public Health Functions, while integrating risk management principles
  • A focus will be on applying the lessons learned to identifying good practices and aligning them with existing Health EDRM strategies. These further align with the WHO Manifesto for a Healthy Recovery from COVID-19, and existing aims and obligations of the Sendai Framework, the Paris Agreement, the health Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the International Health Regulations (2005) and other related national, regional and global strategies and frameworks.


Healthcare worker holding placard with supportive 'we can do this' message


23 May 2022
18:45 - 19:45 (Bali UTC+8)


Hibiscus & Frangipani
BICC Ground Floor

Online access

Remote participation available to those registered for the conference


Open to those registered for the conference




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Kai von Harbou vonharbouk@who.int