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Only WHO is eligible to lead global health governance

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The COVID-19 pandemic is the most serious public health challenge facing the world in the 21st century. It poses a serious threat to healthcare systems around the world, highlighting inadequate global coordination of health issues, inadequate investment in primary health care, and unfair access to health care.

Strengthening public health governance has become as important as facilitating post-pandemic economic recovery as countries seek to curb the spread of the new coronavirus. As the World Health Organization is the most important player in global health governance, strengthening its role and empowerment is key to developing a more resilient and equitable global health environment.

First, strengthening WHO’s authority provides the weapons needed to combat health-related false alarms and disinformation. One of the key points of the COVID-19 pandemic is that you need to trust science and science-based solutions. WHO informs national policies and publishes valuable science-based public health information that is essential for shaping public health behavior. However, the impact of such information is highly dependent on the willingness of governments and the general public to accept and trust it.

As we saw during the COVID-19 pandemic, many, including many world leaders, relied on inaccurate information to question, make false claims, and some Some people openly spread falsehoods. This made it more difficult for the general public to identify the verified facts and advice, and many lives were lost.

Increasing the credibility of WHO will strengthen the power of science and falsehoods and give governments and the general public access to credible information. This acts as a breakwater to prevent false alarms and false alarms from becoming established.

Second, the powerful WHO strengthens global readiness to deal with future pandemics. This is not the last pandemic, as WHO Executive Director Tedros Adhanom Gebreyes warned. Bill Gates has repeatedly reminded the world to take the future pandemic as seriously as the “threat of war.”

We cannot be fully prepared for contingencies and emerging infectious diseases and epidemics may suddenly hit us, but at least be prepared to deal with emergencies so that we can mitigate their most devastating consequences. is needed.

Rapid genomic sequencing of new coronaviruses by Chinese scientists, the speed and scale of vaccine development, the proliferation of diagnostic tools, and of proven or promising therapies and drugs that have helped save millions of lives. I have seen the discovery. All of this is the result of our 10-year investment in global biomedical research and technology to address public health emergencies.

To move forward, we need to prepare for the next pandemic, and WHO plays an important role in this regard. Well-funded WHO effectively coordinates major epidemiological studies, assists in the development of tools for structural analysis and prediction, standardizes data collection methods, and monitors, controls, and eradicates infectious diseases. I can.

Third, WHO has called on governments around the world for years to address the issue of health inequality. Now is the time for the international community to listen to the call. According to the WHO, even before the coronavirus pandemic, half of the world’s population lacks access to essential health care, with more than 800 million people spending at least 10% of their household income on health care. Burden spending puts 100 million people in poverty almost every year.

COVID-19 amplifies these domestic and international inequality. In some developed countries, pandemics are widening racial, income, and gender disparities. Globally, resource-rich countries have much easier access to advanced medical equipment, personal protective equipment and vaccines than low-income countries.

But the pandemic also highlighted our interdependence. In other words, no one is safe until we are all safe. In the short term, countries must uphold their commitment to WHO and COVAX, a vaccine initiative jointly led by WHO. GAVI, Vaccine Alliance. The Coalition for Epidemic Infectious Diseases Innovation is to ensure fair access to the vaccines and essential technologies needed to defeat the virus.

In the long run, leveraging WHO leadership and expertise, countries will increase their investment in primary health care, train healthcare professionals, and all citizens by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals. We need to help achieve insurance. WHO will be at the core of a global network of collaborative efforts to improve global public health governance and ensure that our world is a safer, more equitable and healthier place. Let’s do it.

These opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of China Daily.

The author is an associate professor at the Faculty of Administration, Hunan University.




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