Jeremy Youde

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Standing in the Rose Garden on Tuesday afternoon, President Trump announced that the United States would freeze its contributions to the World Health Organization “while a review is conducted” into how the organization has responded to covid-19 and whether China has too much influence within WHO.

The move prompted widespread condemnation from the WHO itself, as well as from health experts and global leaders. So what is the WHO and what is its role? Here’s what you need to know about the politics of global health.

What is the World Health Organization?

Founded in 1948, the World Health Organization is a specialized U.N.…  Seguir leyendo »

The Chinese government has effectively “intimidated” the World Health Organization, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) claimed this week. As a brand-new infectious disease rapidly spread across the globe, Rubio argued, China didn’t share information, best practices and data on infections among health-care workers.

However, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus praised China’s early efforts to combat the disease. But the result, Rubio points out, is that the United States — and every other country — is effectively on its own as the world tries to deal with this new coronavirus.

This isn’t the first time critics have accused China of covering up or downplaying the severity of an infectious disease outbreak.…  Seguir leyendo »

A Bloomberg story this week warned of the threat of North Korea’s “other weapon” — tuberculosis. In February, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria announced that it would suspend grants to combat tuberculosis and malaria in North Korea by June 30.

Global Fund officials stress that they hope to resume funding to the country in the future, and North Korean officials have implored the Global Fund to maintain its funding on humanitarian grounds.

Since 2002, this unique partnership between governments, the private sector and civil society groups has awarded more than $33 billion in grants to treat HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria to save more than 22 million lives in more than 100 countries.…  Seguir leyendo »

Outgoing director-general of the World Health Organization, Margaret Chan, walks with Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus from Ethiopia, the newly elected director-general, during the 70th World Health Assembly at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva on May 23. (Valentin Flauraud/Keystone via Associated Press)

On May 23, the World Health Organization elected a new director-general (DG): Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, known as Tedros. The first DG from an African nation, he is also the first nonmedical doctor to lead the organization. With a doctorate in public health, he served as Ethiopia’s health minister from 2005 to 2012 and foreign minister from 2012 to 2016.

This is a fraught moment in WHO’s history, given the organization’s budget crisis — and criticism during the 2014 Ebola crisis. Can Tedros succeed?

A switch in WHO elections

Tedros, who succeeds Margaret Chan from China as DG, made his name leading Ethiopia’s efforts to stem deaths from malaria, tuberculosis, AIDS and maternal mortality.…  Seguir leyendo »