Framing Of Disease Outbreaks One Factor Influencing WHO’s Different Responses To Zika, Ebola

Washington Post: Here’s why the WHO responded so differently to Zika and Ebola
Amy S. Patterson, professor of politics at the University of the South

“…Political science research on international organizations and on how issues are framed can help explain the difference [between the WHO’s quick response to Zika and slower response to Ebola]. … WHO officials blamed the slow Ebola response on budget cuts that hit programs on infectious disease control and on poor communication between Ebola-affected countries and WHO headquarters in Geneva. … And surely the WHO, after being accused of dragging its feet with Ebola, wanted to act quickly with Zika. Political scientists would argue that the story is still more complicated. … 1. The WHO has six autonomous regional offices that behave differently … 2. The WHO cares about its reputation among powerful countries … 3. The message matters … In deciding how to respond to outbreaks, global organizations and the states that support them should realize that how those diseases are framed matters” (4/4).

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