WHO and World Bank Group to strengthen global health security

WHO and World Bank Group to strengthen global health security
Dr Jim Yong Kim ©MONUSCO/John Bompengo

The World Health Organization (WHO) and World Bank Group have today launched a new mechanism to strengthen global health security which will help tackle outbreaks and pandemics.

Created by WHO director general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and World Bank Group president Dr Jim Yong Kim, the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board (GPMB) was launched today and will aim to strengthen global health security.

The board, which will do regular monitoring and reporting of preparedness to tackle outbreaks, pandemics and other emergencies with health consequences, will be co-chaired by the former prime minister of Norway and former WHO director general, Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland, and Elhadj As Sy, secretary general of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

It will also include:

  • Political leaders;
  • Heads of UN agencies; and
  • World-class health experts.

“Outbreaks can happen anywhere, anytime”

Tedros said: “The ongoing Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is a stark reminder that outbreaks can happen anywhere, at any time.

“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.”

He added: “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.”

Emergency preparedness

The board will monitor emergency preparedness across national governments, UN agencies, civil society and the private sector.

There will be annual reports on adequacy of financing, progress on relevant research and development, as well as the strength of health crisis preparedness at the global, regional and national levels.

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.”

Press release: World Health Organization

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