World Bank and WHO unite to improve global health security
The World Bank and the World Health Organisation (WHO) have launched a new mechanism to improve global health security through independent reporting and monitoring of preparedness to overcome disease outbreaks, pandemics and health emergencies.
The mechanism, called the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board, has been led by WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and World Bank Group President Dr Jim Yong Kim.
The Global Preparedness Monitoring Board will be co-chaired by Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Prime Minister of Norway, and Elhadj As Sy, Secretary General of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and former WHO Director-General.
The Board will also be composed of political leaders, UN agencies and world-class health experts.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus commented:
“Part of being prepared is having a means of assessing progress made at all levels, by all actors, identifying gaps, including in financing, and making sure all actors are working together, pulling in the same direction. I’m proud of the work we’ve done together with the World Bank Group to establish the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board, and delighted that it will be led by such exceptional global health leaders”
Dr Jim Yong Kim added:
“For too long, we have allowed a cycle of panic and neglect when it comes to pandemics: we ramp up efforts when there’s a serious threat, then quickly forget about them when the threat subsides”
“With the GPMB, we’re taking a large step towards breaking that cycle. The GPMB will help save lives, prevent economic damage, and ensure that we keep pandemic preparedness at the top of the global agenda”
Elhadj As Sy highlighted the need for local and global approaches to health:
“Pandemic preparedness must be as much local as global, and we must meaningfully engage local communities in preparedness, detection, response and recovery to disease outbreaks. I warmly welcome the launch of this Global Preparedness Monitoring Board, and commit to partner with you all. We all need to be accountable to each other on the promises we make, and the results we achieve”
A number of the board members drew attention to the recent outbreak of Ebola in the DRC as a reminder that disease outbreaks can occur suddenly and there should be global standards in place to monitor and report on these.
The board will monitor preparedness at a governmental, UN, civil society and private sector level producing annual reports on the adequacy of financing, progress in research and strength of health systems.
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Image credit: WHO