Conference call: WHO and the COVID-19 response review

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Watch the full conference call. Via YouTube

It has been more than six months since the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a public health emergency of international concern. While some countries have managed to reduce the impact of the coronavirus within their borders, others are struggling to keep it under control.

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As the going got tough, some national governments started questioning WHO’s handling of the pandemic. WHO announced an independent panel to review the global COVID-19 response in early July.

"It’s really critical that it [the panel] not just look backward but that it look forward, not just [at] what’s gone wrong with the response — and we know there’s plenty of fingers to point — but [at] what the world can do to be better prepared to stop outbreaks, to stop this one, first and foremost … but to stop future outbreaks from becoming deadly and costly pandemics,” said Carolyn Reynolds, co-founder of the Pandemic Action Network, which was launched in April.

Devex Senior Reporter Jenny Lei Ravelo spoke with Reynolds and Jorge Saavedra, executive director of AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s Global Public Health Institute, to gain their insights into the review.

Highlights from this conference call include:
• The significance of the independent panel for the world and for WHO.
• Discussion of the panel’s composition to ensure its independence.
• Expert recommendations on change in WHO’s governance framework and new ways to finance and incentivize preparedness.

Speakers:
• Carolyn Reynolds, co-founder, Pandemic Action Network.
• Jorge Saavedra, executive director, AHF Global Public Health Institute.

Moderator:
Jenny Lei Ravelo, senior reporter, Devex.

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