‘Political Opportunity’ For Meaningful Global Health Security Reforms ‘Rapidly Closing’

JAMA: 3 Critical Challenges for Global Health Security
Lawrence O. Gostin, professor at Georgetown University, director of the O’Neill Institute for National & Global Health Law, and director of the WHO Collaborating Center on Public Health Law & Human Rights

“International institutions are poised to make one of the most momentous decisions about the future of global health security since the formation of the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1948. … By the end of this year, five global commissions will have published major critiques of global health preparedness, all spurred by the Ebola epidemic, which exposed deep flaws in the international system. … All the reports will feed into the January meeting of the WHO executive board, with the final decisions taken by the World Health Assembly in May 2016. … I have little doubt that each [commission] will expose major gaps in global health security and offer radical solutions. But the window of political opportunity following the West African Ebola epidemic is rapidly closing … The question remains whether the entrenched interests of powerful states will block meaningful reforms. If this historic moment passes with only tepid reforms, we ought to hold our political leaders fully accountable” (11/10).