Global Health Initiatives

Introduction to Need of Reformation for WHO

Heath is one of the significant aspects of the lives of human being and the recent outbreaks of pandemic and epidemics is matter of grave concern particularly when the global institution like World Health Organisation has been challenged concerning its efforts in the global public health. Health has been considered to be the sole responsibility of the nations but this responsibility is still to be fulfilled are increasing at the global platform and has even turning into political revolution (United Nations). One of the significant vehicles concerning this global responsibility of healthcare is International Health Regulations (2005) of World Health Organization (WHO, 2016). With the objective to protect, prevent, control and respond to the spread of various disease at the international level along with avoidance to different interference which may occur with international trade and traffic, this International Health Regulation is to protect the global health security after the provision which has been placed a decade ago (WHO, 2015a). The leadership of World Health Organisation get questioned when the outbreak of Ebola hit the West Africa in which various flaws of the international health regulations, one of the normative instruments of World Health Organisation, get revealed broadly and suggested the inadequacy in tackling this outbreak and its devastation in West Africa. The present paper will analyse the ability of the World Health Organisation concerning Global Health initiatives and the need to reform in order to lead as a Guardian of Global Public Health. With the context of the failure of World Health Organisation during the Ebola outbreak, the present paper will provide in account into the strength and weakness of WHO and the ways in which it must be reformed to maintain its leadership in global Public Health.

WHO: A Leader in Global Public Health with Historian Evidences of Leading in Global Health Care

The World Health Organisation become an institution representing various countries in concern of international health program on 22 July 1946 (Markel, 2014). This day is now recognised as World Health Day. This Global institution is working in almost 150 countries office with its headquarters in Geneva Switzerland. Despite having various credentials, the institution is now facing various challenges, by new entrants including World Bank, bilateral development agencies, Global fund, private foundations and other Global Health partnership program, as a global leader in health matters. It has been observed that the scope of World Health Organisation has been extended beyond its capacity in last few years resulting into dilution of its impact and damage to its reputation (Reeves & Brundage, 2011).

The historical strengths of the organisation are worth considering to understand why there is a need to reform the institution to establish its leadership in global public health emergency sector. World Health Organisation has wide experience in collecting, tracking and scrutinizing the data of public health essential in order to prohibition of the spread of epidemics along with close monitoring of the progress of the various interventions which has been preceded to improve the situation. There are various events where the coordination and comprehend response of World Health Organisation concerning the pandemic threats has been proved to be effective. One of the strengths which has been possessed by the World Health Organisation is regarding the convening power in order to mobilize the best internal experts even on short notices concerning the global health emergency. Since member states are the constituents in the World Health Organisation, the organisation has high credibility and social capital concerning the norms and Standards which must be used and implemented across the globe. One such event is the response of World Health Organisation to H1N1 epidemic where there was some inconsistent estimation of the gravity of the pandemic by World Health Organisation along with failures in proper communication with the public and distribution of vaccine. Despite of all these loopholes in the functioning, the organisation responded quickly in mobilizing resources from America and other countries to epidemic hot spots. The report provided that the World Health Organisation has been successful in various areas such as effective partnership and collaboration; accurate detection, identification and monitoring of the concerning pandemic within time; proper and early guidance to affected Nation along with Rapid field deployment; developing the required vaccine within a given time of 32 days after the declaration of such pandemic as a public health emergency of international concern (WHO Review Committee. 2011). Another great achievement of WHO which provide a success story in controlling infectious pandemic was the eradication of smallpox which was accomplished by 1980 (Wibulpolprasert & Chowdhury, 2016). One of the strategies of World Health Organisation which also act as its one of the strongest armamentaria has been the distribution and employment of various medications to ensure the treatment of infectious disease and development of vaccines to prevent the spread of any pandemic. The WHO has also made significant contribution in eradication of measles and polio along with treatment and prevention of various other diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis, influenzae, etc.

Outbreak of Ebola: Exposure of Incapability of WHO to Address the International Global Health Issues

One of the pandemics which has led to the continued debate over the functionality and impact of World Health Organisation is Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak. This UN specialised health agency of international platform has been a difficult position as the institution face various challenges even after the modernization of the institution with proposal to Reform and achieve evolution in the Global Health governance by World Health Organisation leading to an assurance of having a global society which can adequately protect and tackle increasing Complex nature of the Modern Public Health urgencies. This outbreak of Ebola has suggested a shift in the approach of Governance what the Global Public Health. This outbreak of EVD epidemic has resulted into killing more than 11000 lives and causing a great loss on the economic front with more than $2.8 billion of the West African countries (Coltart et al., 2017).. It has been found that to the approach of the institution has been more reactive than proactive in forecasting and preventing the spread of this epidemic in the given course of time. The organisation has been criticized with the response in this Panda make in which the approach has been considered to be a pusher rather than being on the ground and tackle the spread of epidemic (Nayyar, 2016). The declaration of Public Health emergency of international concern (PHERIC) by World Health Organisation was found to be late when there was grossly inadequacy on the part of domestic Public Health capacity. This suggests that the Global Response over this epidemic suffered clear leadership (WHO, 2014) and global cooperation in order to develop the capacities to prevent such epidemic.

Recommendations on Need of Reformation for WHO

In the wake of this EVD outbreak, World Health Organisation is currently at a critical juncture where it has been exposed that the institution has fundamental weaknesses leading to in capability of coordination and mobilization of an effective International response to any threat of any pandemic. The interim panel concluded with the response of World Health Organisation in the Ebola epidemic that the agency needs to lead the Global Health emergency response agencies. The Interim Panel reported that the Institution of World Health Organisation is lacking the capacity or organizational culture (WHO, 2015). The panel provided a set of reforms in the form of recommendation with an objective to re-stablished the central role of World Health Organisation in the health emergencies. The recommendations for reforming included the establishment of a contingency fund which can tackle the response regarding the outbreak of any epidemic. It has also been recommended by the panel to establish an independent centre for emergency, preparedness and response which must be within the institution of World Health Organisation but having an independent status to act and respond in times of outbreak. Another reform which is required by the organisation is concerning the plan which can lead to the development of a Global Health emergency workforce. The research and development department of the World Health Organisation also need to be more centralised with their efforts to tackle any future health emergencies around the globe. There are various other recommendations which must be included in the governance Reform measures of World Health Organisation to ensure the establishment of World Health Organisation as the leading global health emergency tackling institution.

The other reforms discussed in this part of paper are covering basically the areas of Global Health governance along with providing some measures of the reform for the institution which may be characterized into fourth thematic areas of responding, preventing, conducting Research and Governance of the broader Global system concerning the outbreak of any disease (Moon eta l. 2015). The Reform which may be specifically address by World Health Organisation to improve its reputation and working facilities includes the creation of independent centre in the institution for preparing the response of any outbreak. Concerning the PHEIC declaration, politically insulated standing emergency committee of World Health Organisation can be established to ensure that such declaration of health emergency at global level can be made concerning the severity of the outbreak. The stakeholders are also a significant part concerning the role of World Health Organisation at the global level for health emergency issues and they can develop framework of rules and norms along with Research and Development department which can we global financing facility looking into the disease outbreaks. Another form which is recommended is to strengthening and investigating into the Global capacity of World Health Organisation to respond to any outbreaks in a rapid manner. It have been concluded by Moon et al (2105) with all these reforms and recommendations provided by Harvard-LSHTM panel that the recommendation is centred on active engagement of World Health Organisation with other greater Global community to ensure the better management of infectious disease outbreaks along with providing recommendation that the agency should focus on the certain core functions of the agency instead of baking the operational activities of the institution. There are various questions regarding the financial transparency and management in World Health Organisation as it has been found that the organisation is at the mercy of doners (Wibulpolprasert & Chowdhury, 2016). The organisation needs to have more country contributions which main sure the exemplary financial management within the organisation to tackle the outbreak of any infectious disease around the globe.

Conclusion on Need of Reformation for WHO

The World Health Organisation has been in having a history of Bengal leader in the Global Health public emergency. With successful comprehension and coordination by the institution has led to the prevention of the spread of various pandemic threats around the globe. The successful story of what is the organisation includes the struggle against H1N1 epidemic along with the eradication of smallpox. Although the pandemic which has led to the various challenges for this institution and questioned the capability of this institution as the international Global leader in health sector has been EVD outbreak. This outbreak has led to various debates challenging the functioning and efficiency of this institution in tackling the spread of deadly viruses and the outbreak of future pandemic and epidemic. Moreover, new entrants in the global health sector has also emerged as challenge for this institution. This event has led to the conclusion that the institution needs to reform in order to maintain its dominance as a global leader in Hindi Public Health emergency sector. There are various reforms needed and recommendations provided by various researches in order to read establish the reputation and the efficiency of this United Nation based institution for being the leader in Global Health public emergency sector. The recommendations included Reform concerning the financial stability of the organisation along with a shift in the governance reform measures internally in the organisation as these reforms are likely to ensure magnification and enhancement of the capability of World Health Organisation as a leading Global Health emergency tackling institution.

References for Need of Reformation for WHO

World Health Organization. (2015a). Report of the Ebola Interim Assessment Panel July 2015 Available at: http://www.who.int/csr/resources/publications/ebola/report-by-panel.pdf

Margaret Reeves and Suzanne Brundage (2011) Leveraging the World Health Organization’s Core Strengths. Center for Strategic and International Studies, pp. 1-7 Retrieved from: http://library.latrobe.edu.au/record=b2689764"S5

Markel (2014) WHO: Past, Present and Future Worldly approaches to global health: 1851 to the present. Public Health, 128 (2), pp. 124-128

WHO Review Committee. (2011). Report of the Review Committee on the Functioning of the International Health Regulations (2005) and on Pandemic Influenza A (H1N1) 2009. Retrieved from:

Wibulpolprasert, S., & Chowdhury, M. (2016). World Health Organization: Overhaul or Dismantle?. American journal of public health, 106(11), 1910–1911. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2016.303469

Nayyar D. It’s time to abolish the UN. Retrieved from: http//www.Sunday-guardian.com/analysis/it’s-time-to-abolish-the-un.

Coltart, C. E., Lindsey, B., Ghinai, I., Johnson, A. M., & Heymann, D. L. (2017). The Ebola outbreak, 2013-2016: old lessons for new epidemics. Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 372(1721), 20160297. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2016.0297

World Health Organization. (2014). Statement on the 1st meeting of the IHR Emergency Committee on the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Retrieved from: www.who.int/mediacentre/news/statements/2014/ebola20140808/en/.

Report of the Ebola Interim Assessment Panel [Internet]. WHO. 2015 [cited 2015 Jul 25]. Available from: http://www.who.int/csr/resources/publications/ebola/report-by-panel.pdf?ua=1.

Moon S, Sridhar D, Pate MA, Jha AK, Clinton C, Delaunay S, et al. (2015). Will Ebola change the game? Ten essential reforms before the next pandemic. The report of the Harvard-LSHTM Independent Panel on the Global Response to Ebola. The Lanceancet.;386(10009):2204–21

United Nations. (n.d). Advancing the Global Health Agenda. Retrieved from: https://www.un.org/en/chronicle/article/advancing-global-health-agenda

WHO. (2016). International Health Regulations (2005) Third Edition. Retrieved from: https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/9789241580496

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