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‘Political Window’ Of Opportunity To Reform IHR ‘Rapidly Closing’

The Lancet: The International Health Regulations 10 years on: the governing framework for global health security
Lawrence O. Gostin, Mary C. DeBartolo, and Eric A. Friedman of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University

“…Despite shortcomings, the International Health Regulations is an important governing framework. Yet, a crisis of confidence in the Regulations exists, with the Review Committee on International Health Regulations functioning during Ebola currently deliberating. We propose a series of operational and legal reforms. … 10 years after its adoption, the time has come to realize the International Health Regulations’ promise. The unconscionable Ebola epidemic opened a window of opportunity for fundamental reform — both for the International Health Regulations and the organization that oversees the treaty. That political window, however, is rapidly closing. Donor fatigue, fading memories, and competing priorities are diverting political attention. Empowering WHO and realizing the International Health Regulations’ potential would shore up global health security — an important investment in human and animal health, while reducing the vast economic consequences of the next global health emergency” (11/22).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.