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Ebola Outbreak Highlights U.K.’s, WHO’s Needs For Emergency Response Reform

The Lancet: Ebola’s legacy: U.K. deficits and their global lessons
Editorial Board

“[A] report on the U.K.’s lessons from Ebola … published this week by the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee … found surprising weaknesses in the U.K.’s application of science to global health emergencies. It makes important recommendations for corrective action. Although targeted towards the U.K., the committee’s findings will also likely apply to other high-income countries involved in the response to Ebola. … The timing of the report could not be better. In March, France will host a conference on global health security in Lyon. That meeting will provide the opportunity to re-calibrate the world’s preparedness for future health emergencies…” (1/30).

BMJ: World Health Organization and emergency health: if not now, when?
Francesco Checchi, senior humanitarian health lead in the humanitarian technical unit at Save the Children U.K. and faculty of public health and policy at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and colleagues

“…The Ebola response has highlighted the need for many agencies and governments to urgently upgrade their capability to intervene in all types of crises. However, such improvements will struggle to attain their potential if the world’s coordinating and technical leadership body remains unchanged. Indeed, if WHO cannot be reformed to allow it to occupy this pre-eminent position, some other multilateral entity must be allowed to assume it. We believe that an effective, empowered WHO is a far better solution for global health governance, and for public health coordination and leadership in emergencies, than a multiplicity of partly overlapping entities, not all recognized by governments and at greater risk of becoming subservient to the most powerful governments and donors. … A radical reform of WHO cannot be delayed any further” (1/28).