A new health report written by the Commission on Creating a Global Health Risk Framework for the Future (GHRF) has recommended that world governments spend extra $4.5 billion yearly to combat disease epidemics such as the recent Ebola virus.
The report advises that world governments must collectively be prepared for health emergencies and respond to them immediately before they get out of hand as nearly happened with the Ebola virus.
Commission chairman Peter Sands, speaking at the launch of the report in New York at the Rockefeller Foundation cried that “The reality is we have neglected this dimension of human security.” The commission’s research and report was sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Ford Motors, and the US government among three other philanthropy groups.
According to Sands, former CEO of Standard Charter Bank in the United Kingdom and now works at Harvard University said unless governments spend extra $4.5 billion yearly to combat and respond to health epidemics, they could end up spending as much as $60 billion annually to deal with the same threats.
The commission’s report is titled “The Neglected Dimension of Global Security” and contains 26 recommendations, while also referring to other reports earlier written by other researchers. This latest report was authored by 17 commissioners from 12 countries and supported by over 250 health experts who shared insights at four public meetings put together by the US National Academy of Medicine last year.
“Of all the reports dealing with Ebola and its consequences, this is clearly the most comprehensive, linking governance changes to financial commitments,” said Barry Bloom of Harvard, who formerly headed that university’s school of public health and did not co-author any of the reports.
The current report including one published in November 28 last year in The Lancet by a Harvard-LSHTM panel plus another published in July 2015 by experts funded by WHO all condemned the “sluggish, ill-coordinated, and clumsy” manner that WHO responded to the last Ebola epidemic, adding that the world health organization must restructure itself to meet unknown health challenges and change policies to make things work within days of disease outbreaks.
Among other things, the report advises that the Center for Emergency Health Preparedness, a new unit of WHO, have a board that is truly independent and able to oversee external assessment of adherence to IHR conditions.
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“The World Bank, bilateral, and other multilateral donors should declare that funding related to health system strengthening will be condi¬tional upon a country’s participation in the external assessment process,” one recommendation stated.