Editorial

WHO and international health regulations

Written by The Frontier Post

According to western media, after lengthy debate the global community has agreed on amendments to reform the rules around disease outbreaks in the world, known as the International Health Regulations (IHR). According to details, after initial consensus the draft will get through the World Health Assembly and would take two years for full implementation of the law. As said, the reforms sought by Washington and backed by its allies is a first step in a broader reform of the IHR, which set out countries’ legal obligations around disease outbreaks in respect of their cooperation with the global health regulator in investigation and mitigation of the disease.

The emergence of COVID-19 pandemic in the beginning of 21st century had not only resulted in unprecedented loss of lives, failure of health infrastructures and collapse of the global economies but also put disastrous effects on the societies around the globe. There had been a global controversy about the origin of novel coronavirus and reasons for its outbreak. The United States accused China of hiding information regarding outbreak of the pandemic and creation of the virus at Wuhan Institute of Virology for military use while China accused the United States of producing virus in its military facility at Fort Detrick Maryland which led to the outbreak of the disease in the world. Later, the WHO’s teams visited Wuhan, China and released its fact-finding report, which could not satisfy doubts of the Biden administration about the pandemic outbreak. Although America and its allies could not prosecute China on the issue of the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, they pushed the World Health Organization (WHO) to modify its rules, regulations and handling procedures regarding outbreak of the disease in the world. Several nations raised their concerns relating to the equity issues particularly shared in vaccines and treatments for future health emergencies which had been addressed by the forum. In fact, the politicization of the global forums has reduced the effectiveness of these organizations, however the global community must continue its efforts to overcome these challenges through introduction of reforms and accountability of the influential.

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