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WHO Reform Should Focus Role Of Agency As Public Health Facilitator, Provider Of Expertise

Nature: The time is ripe to reform the World Health Organization
Editorial Board

“The forthcoming election of a new leader of the World Health Organization (WHO) has focused attention on the future direction of the United Nations’ public health agency. … [The] WHO is not a global firefighter, and cannot be expected to be. Rather, it is a facilitator for more-operational organizations … Ultimately, an effective frontline response depends on having functional public health systems (which are still lacking in many places), preparing contingency plans so that interconnected global supply chains do not break down, and planning for large outbreaks in cities, which are at increased risk as a result of rampant urbanization. The WHO has a crucial role in these and many other areas of public health as a facilitator and provider of sound scientific expertise. But it is ultimately down to the countries of the world to do the heavy lifting” (1/31).

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