Cayman Islands, Caribbeanand International News
Sunday, Dec 03, 2023

‘Paradigm shift’ needed in way WHO is funded, says director general

‘Paradigm shift’ needed in way WHO is funded, says director general

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says Covid pandemic has proven that health is ‘an international issue’
The head of the World Health Organization has warned member countries that the UN’s global health body is being “set up to fail” without a “paradigm shift” in the way that it is funded and supported.

In stark language delivered to the WHO’s executive board, the organisation’s director general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said that the coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed more than 5.5 million lives, had underlined the need to strengthen health systems as well as pandemic preparedness plans.

Addressing the specific issue of Covid-19, Tedros also cautioned that conditions remained ideal for more variants to emerge. He said it was dangerous for countries to assume Omicron is the last variant or that “we are in the endgame”.

“There are different scenarios for how the pandemic could play out and how the acute phase could end,” he said.

“But it’s dangerous to assume that Omicron will be the last variant or that we are in the endgame,” he added. “On the contrary, globally, the conditions are ideal for more variants to emerge.”

He insisted, however, that “we can end Covid-19 as a global health emergency, and we can do it this year,” by reaching goals such as the WHO’s target to vaccinate 70% of the population of each country by the middle of this year, with a focus on people who are at the highest risk of Covid-19.

“It’s true that we will be living with Covid for the foreseeable future and that we will need to learn to manage it through a sustained and integrated system for acute respiratory diseases” to help prepare for future pandemics, he said.

“But learning to live with Covid cannot mean that we give this virus a free ride. It cannot mean that we accept almost 50,000 deaths a week from a preventable and treatable disease.”

In wide-ranging remarks on Monday, Tedros told members: “Covid-19 has proven that health is not just a national issue; it’s an international issue. The scale of challenges we face is immense, and is reflected by the breadth of your agenda this week.”

Supporters say the WHO’s reliance on voluntary funding from member states and charities forces it to focus on priorities set by funders, and makes it less able to criticise members when things go wrong. A proposal by the WHO’s working group on sustainable financing calls for members’ mandatory contributions to rise gradually to account for half the agency’s $2bn core budget by 2028, from less than 20% now.

“For far too long, health has been compartmentalised and deprioritised, nationally and internationally. It’s time to recognise that if we fail to invest in health, we fail to invest in the future,” Tedros said.

Addressing long-term concerns over the performance of the organisation, Tedros said that members were within their rights to expect higher standards from the organisation, including “enhanced governance, efficiency, accountability and transparency”, saying that included “zero tolerance for sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment”.

The reference to sexual abuse appears to be a reference to a damning report last year that found that 21 employees working for the UN global health body were among perpetrators of serious sexual abuses during the Ebola crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The comments appeared directed at concerns – some of them politically motivated and levelled in particular by the former Trump administration, which withdrew from the WHO – around the WHO’s initial response to the coronavirus pandemic and research into its origins.

Underling the continuing scale of the pandemic, Tedros said: “This Sunday marks two years since I declared a public health emergency of international concern – the highest level of alarm under international law – over the spread of Covid-19.

“At the time, there were fewer than 100 cases and no deaths reported outside China. Two years later, almost 350 million cases have been reported, and more than 5.5 million deaths – and we know these numbers are an underestimate.

Returning once again to the issue of vaccine equity, he added: “As it stands, 86 member states across all regions have not been able to reach last year’s target of vaccinating 40% of their populations – and 34 member states, most of them in Africa and the eastern Mediterranean region, have not been able to vaccinate even 10% of their populations.

“Eighty-five percent of the population of Africa is yet to receive a single dose of vaccine. How can this be acceptable to any of us? We simply cannot end the emergency phase of the pandemic unless we bridge this gap.”

Related Articles

Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Israel: Unprecedented Civil Disobedience Looms as IDF Reservists Protest Judiciary Reform
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Joe Biden admitted, in his own words, that he delivered what he promised in exchange for the $10 million bribe he received from the Ukraine Oil Company.
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
Europe is boiling: Extreme Weather Conditions Prevail Across the Continent
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Italian Court's Controversial Ruling on Sexual Harassment Ignites Uproar
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
40,000 child slaves in Congo are forced to work in cobalt mines so we can drive electric cars.
BBC Personalities Rebuke Accusations Amidst Scandal Involving Teen Exploitation
A Swift Disappointment: Why Is Taylor Swift Bypassing Canada on Her Global Tour?
Historic Moment: Edgars Rinkevics, EU's First Openly Gay Head of State, Takes Office as Latvia's President
Bye bye democracy, human rights, freedom: French Cops Can Now Secretly Activate Phone Cameras, Microphones And GPS To Spy On Citizens
The Poor Man With Money, Mark Zuckerberg, Unveils Twitter Replica with Heavy-Handed Censorship: A New Low in Innovation?
Unilever Plummets in a $2.5 Billion Free Fall, to begin with: A Reckoning for Misuse of Corporate Power Against National Interest
Beyond the Blame Game: The Need for Nuanced Perspectives on America's Complex Reality
Twitter Targets Meta: A Tangle of Trade Secrets and Copycat Culture
The Double-Edged Sword of AI: AI is linked to layoffs in industry that created it
US Sanctions on China's Chip Industry Backfire, Prompting Self-Inflicted Blowback
Meta Copy Twitter with New App, Threads
The New French Revolution
BlackRock Bitcoin ETF Application Refiled, Naming Coinbase as ‘Surveillance-Sharing’ Partner