Global Health Community Discusses Pandemic Preparedness Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

BMJ Opinion: We need new forms of governance to better manage our response to pandemics
Ilona Kickbusch, director of the Global Health Centre at the Graduate Institute for International and Development Studies, and Gabriel Leung, dean of medicine at the University of Hong Kong, discuss the need for new governance and financing instruments to support countries’ epidemic preparedness efforts. The authors note, “First and foremost, the role of the WHO needs to be strengthened — financially and politically. … Second, the mechanism of declaring a [public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC)] needs urgent revisiting. … Third, … there clearly needs to be a set of rules to which both traditional and social media need to adhere to in such critical situations. … Fourth, the mechanisms that exist to provide rapid financial help are insufficient and do not have activation criteria that fit complex situations such as the present one. … Fifth, WHO recommendations mean nothing if there are no sanctions to follow — either political or economic. … Sixth, as in other fields of policy the toughest stick to use is money” (2/3).

U.N. Dispatch’s “Global Dispatches Podcast”: How the World Health Organization is Responding to the Coronavirus Outbreak
Mark Leon Goldberg, editor of U.N. Dispatch and host of the Global Dispatches Podcast, discusses the WHO’s response to the coronavirus outbreak and speaks with Ambassador John E. Lange, senior fellow for global health diplomacy at the United Nations Foundation, about how the U.S. government and organizations like the WHO respond to disease outbreaks (1/29).

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