Does the world need a World Health Organization?

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Yes, the world still needs WHO — although it needs to be improved, Ashish Jha, K.T. Li Professor of International Health at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and director of the Harvard Global Health Institute (HGHI), wrote in an April 6, 2017 Health Affairs blog.

The article concerned WHO’s upcoming elections for a new Director General. It also reflected on a panel Jha moderated in January 2017 in Washington, D.C. The panel was hosted by the HGHI, The Center for Global Health Science and Security at Georgetown University Medical Center, and Health Affairs.

“While it is true that there are now hundreds of organizations engaged in global health, there is none with the legitimacy of the WHO,” he wrote. One of its biggest strengths is that it’s made up of 194 member states. “Under the right leadership, the WHO can stand up to governments, mobilize global opinion on key public health issues, and create political will for action in a way that no one else can.”

Read Jha’s ideas for improving WHO in the Health Affairs blog: A Race To Restore Confidence In The World Health Organization