Opinion Pieces Suggest Global Health Priority Areas For WHO Under New Director General

Devex: Opinion: Is the future of global health safe with Dr. Tedros?
Claudia González Romo, special adviser and global chief of public advocacy at UNICEF

“…The global health challenges we face today are so immense, so complex, that it would be a mistake to be complacent about the journey [the new WHO director general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus,] is embarking upon. A strong, not obsolete, WHO is needed more than ever right now. … [O]ur world and its people stand at a crucial tipping point for survival and his leadership is absolutely critical. Changing climates, drug-resistant superbugs, malnutrition, and the constant threat of nation-crippling disease outbreaks all stand to define the world our children will inherit. For their sake, and for the sake of the billions of people living in vulnerable nations across the global south, I strongly hope he will focus on the following key points … WHO alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals … Making the agency fit for purpose to respond to outbreaks and health emergencies … Trusted engagement with member states … People-centered health policies…” (6/2).

Huffington Post: World Health Transformed
Michael W. Hodin, executive director of the Global Coalition on Aging, managing partner at High Lantern Group, and fellow at Oxford University’s Harris Manchester College

“…[H]ow will the WHO balance communicable disease programs, the traditional focus of health efforts in low- and middle-income countries, with the two exploding health needs of the 21st century, namely, aging-related loss of functional ability and non-communicable diseases (NCDs)? … Already, the WHO has expressed its interest in functional ability with last year’s Ageing and Health Strategy, which was further accented [last] week by the Global Plan on Dementia at the 70th World Health Assembly. Both new strategies reflect how global public health realities are shifting, whether one lives in Africa, the U.S., or anywhere in between. But, for Dr. Tedros to be successful, he will have to build on these early steps with further efforts to truly revamp the WHO for this century’s health challenges. Three steps are essential: Raise the Ageing and Health Strategy to the top of the WHO’s agenda to prepare for the Decade of Healthy Ageing 2020-30. … Recognize the near perfect correlation between the aging of global society and the explosion of Alzheimer’s. … Smartly, wisely, but clearly and seriously reform the culture of the WHO — and public health itself…” (6/2).

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