Media Outlets Report On WHA Discussions, Including Health Emergency Early Warning Systems, Proposal On Palestinian Territories, Global Repository For Biological Samples

Devex: How should the world be warned of global health emergencies?
“There is high interest among a number of World Health Organization member states to introduce a differentiated alert level system for health emergencies, after many governments were accused of being slow in responding to the novel coronavirus outbreak. But the review committee tasked with looking into the regulations governing how WHO and countries respond to global health emergencies says the relevance of changing the alert system needs to be examined…” (Ravelo, 11/14).

Devex: Decision on Palestinian territories draws accusations of politics at WHA
“The World Health Assembly ventured into the hotly contested arena of Middle East politics last week and weighed in on health conditions in the Palestinian territories. With a vote of 78-14, the WHA adopted a deeply divisive decision asking the World Health Organization director general to continue providing technical and programmatic support in the Palestinian territories, and report on progress regarding access to and provision of health care there. The proposal, which was made by the delegations of Cuba, Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine, Qatar, Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, and Turkey, was viewed by some countries to contain an implicit attack on Israel — which occupies the Palestinian territories — and thus overly political for the health body to take on…” (Ravelo, 11/16).

Health Policy Watch: WHO Proposes Swiss-Based Global Repository For Sharing Biological Samples Related To Disease Outbreak Threats
“World Health Organization Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has proposed the creation of a Swiss-based global repository for sharing pathogen materials and clinical samples related to potential outbreak threats — allowing for the more rapid development of medical interventions. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown the urgent need for this kind of system, said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in his closing remarks to the 73th World Health Assembly…” (Rao/Fletcher, 11/13).

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