WHO: From 3 by 5 to 3 billion, emergency, security, and AMR?

WHO: From 3 by 5 to 3 billion, emergency, security, and AMR?

Mon, 03/19/2018 - 21:16
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The Executive Board met Nov 22-23 at WHO headquarters. We saw there WHO director general Dr Tedros riding on a high horse with a 3 billion people objective at the core of the new program: one billion people covered by UHC (Universal Health Coverage).

The Executive Board  met Nov 22-23 at WHO headquarters. We saw there WHO director general Dr Tedros riding on a high horse with a 3 billion people objective at the core of the new program: one billion people covered by UHC (Universal Health Coverage). 

One is strongly reminded of Dr Jim Kim initiating the 3 by 5 program at the WHO: the idea of placing 3 million People Living with HIV (PLWH) under antiretroviral treatment by 2005 appeared overly ambitious then (in 2003), and it met with cynicism on the part of the leadership at the Global Fund, the later questionning whether Dr J. W. Lee (WHO director general) was in his  right mind and 'hadn't had a drink too much' to launch such 3X5 initiative! It did not have the support of the World Bank then either.

In fact the 3x5 'worked', even if it took more time to get off the ground, because many NGOs jumped in the fray, including some of us at the NGO Forum for Health with the World Council of Churches, organized support meetings, helped with advocacy, in popularizing the objectives, supported by WHO staff (often deployed into the field), and the outcome was way beyond expectations.

Years have passed, and many more PLWH are today under treatment while Dr Jim Kim is no longer a 'mere' head of HIV at the WHO, but the DG of the World Bank (named by Obama in 2012).

Today the '3 billion' target of the new WHO GPW (Global Program of Work) is similarly met with a lot of shoulder shrugs. 

Did it get Kim's support in backrooms? It is a reasonable hunch and Peter Sands' nomination at the Global Fund could, ironically, mean support (while both institutions were hostile to the WHO plan in 2003), in view of Sands' role as Chair of the post-Ebola "Commission on a Global Health Risk Framework for the Future, and its document: "The Neglected Dimension of Global Security: A Framework to Counter Infectious Disease Crises". 

Focussing on achieving notably a one billion people covered by UHC, the program as described by Dr Bernhard Schwartländer (head of Tedros' cabinet, and a UN career man with experience in UNAIDS) means, first of all, recognizing that "health objectives are central to the SDGs" (the Sustainable Development Goals adopted at the UN), as Schwartländer said,  it demands a number of shifts to succeed, he basically said: better and tighter coordination in the organization of the WHO (which has already started with regular meetings with WHO Region Directors all attending this ...

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