By OLIKA DANIEL GODSON, DIE WELT
In recent times, there has been an outbreak of epidemics. This brings the effectiveness of the WHO in managing the outbreak of epidemics, one of its principal aims, to the fore. This evaluation involves the assessment of the efficacy of the WHO by many yardsticks. The Member States of WHO in a session this afternoon proffered various parameters that could be used in evaluating the organization and stated various recommendations for improving the performance of the organization. This is particularly important as the recent outbreak of the Ebola Virus in West Africa, Liberia especially was an epidemic and was not properly managed by the State parties involved and the NGOs as well.
In ensuring the improved performance of the Organization, various recommendations such as increasing the number of regional offices of the organization for the purpose of bringing it closer to the local communities were made. Other recommendations include the creation of higher funding of the organization and the increased partnership with various NGOs for the purpose of managing epidemics. Italy, Nigeria and Cote D’ivoire also moved for the revision of the WHO’s budget in order to make regional offices more effective. This is to ensure proper funding, thereby improving the capacity of the organization. Other countries such as Jordan also recommended better funding of the organization as a formidable medium of managing the outbreak of epidemics and increasing the performance of the WHO.
The bulk of the recommendations that were made by some Member States bordered on the improvement of the organization’s performance by making it carry out extensive research. Congo proposed that that internal research into the countries that have the highest amount of outbreaks be carried out by the organization. They stated that Africa, by sending of cases, especially during the Ebola Virus outbreak, for better evaluation wasted useful time that could have been used to contain the outbreak. China also proposed the use of Sociologists and Anthropologists to study the cause of epidemics and pandemics by the organization in order to better manage the outbreak of the disease.
Other important recommendations includes that of Qatar which stated that IHR reforms be imposed and that various NGOs fund the WHO. Luxembourg also proposed that the local framework and cultural sensitivity be taken into consideration. They also suggested that there be local hubs to distribute the various vaccines for managing epidemics.
It is pertinent to note that the most effective way of ensuring improved performance of the WHO is to have state parties prepare for the outbreak of an epidemic through knowing the diseases early and mapping out strategies for containing it.