The chief of the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) today called on global leaders to build a “health legacy” for women and the people of Africa, as she addressed the annual policy meeting of the body in Geneva Switzerland.“I have identified the health of two populations as indicators of our overall performance: the people of Africa and women,” WHO Executive Director Margaret Chan said.Dr. Chan said that women need special attention in health agendas because of their function as care-givers and their reproductive role. “Women are agents of change,” she pointed out. “They can lift households and communities out of poverty.” She stressed, in addition, that Africa bears an overwhelming burden of disease and must not be left behind by development.Endorsing the continent’s first overarching health strategy, which was developed under the auspices of the African Union, Dr. Chan said it “emphasizes the need to revitalize the primary health care approach, and calls for a minimum package of core interventions that can be made available to all.”Dr. Chan opened her presentation with an upbeat assessment of the importance of health and health policy in the world: “Health is now seen as a key area of engagement for foreign policy. Health has become an attractive focus for corporate social responsibility.” While acknowledging that there will always be unmet needs, she said, “health has never before received such attention or enjoyed such wealth.”The 60th World Health Assembly, which is attended by 193 Member States, runs from 14 through 23 May. 15 May 2007The chief of the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) today called on global leaders to build a “health legacy” for women and the people of Africa, as she addressed the annual policy meeting of the body in Geneva Switzerland.