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WHO DG calls for collaboration to address Global health issues

by Haruna Gimba
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By Haruna Gimba

The Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has called for collaboration as the world is gripping with many health issues across the Globe in this era of multi-modal world separated by deep seated ideologies and opinions.

Addressing a virtual press conference on the global health issues, Dr Ghebreyesus said it is the vulnerable, sick, displaced that suffer the brunt.

On Global Post COVID-19 Accord, the WHO DG said there is progress and maintain confidence that by the World Health Assembly (WHA) in May this year, countries will have agreed on a new pandemic agreement that sets out a better set of parameters than we had during COVID-19.’

On the Gaza crisis, he asked questions: “What type of world do we live in when people cannot get food and water, or when people who cannot even walk are not able to receive care?’ ‘What type of world do we live in when health workers are at risk of being bombed as they carry out their lifesaving work?

“What type of world do we live in when hospitals must close because there’s no more power or medicines to help save patients? And they’re being targeted by military force? We need a ceasefire now! We need hostages to be released, we need the bombs to stop dropping and we need unfettered humanitarian access; humanity must prevail,” Ghebreyesus said.

On Sudan, he said while not receiving much international media attention, is witnessing a humanitarian catastrophe, the more than 10 months of conflict have had a deadly impact on the lives, livelihoods and health of the people.

“Over six million people have been displaced internally and nearly two million have gone to neighbouring countries. This is the largest displacement of people in the world.

“Half the population needs humanitarian aid. But partners cannot reach most of them. Already, more than 14,000 people have been killed, and if the world turns a blind eye to the suffering in Sudan, many more will die.

“WHO condemns in the strongest terms the continued attacks on health care in Sudan, and the occupation of health facilities.’ ‘Like in Gaza, peace is desperately needed in Sudan to protect lives and rebuild the health system.”

Speaking on Cholera epidemic resurgence, the WHO DG said, that after years of progress against cholera, the deadly disease has come roaring back in 30 countries spurred on by conflict, poverty, the climate crisis and global socio-economic inequality.

He enumerated what the world needs to do quickly: “First, it is important to ensure people have safe water, and access to toilets that don’t contaminate their surroundings. This means investing in major infrastructure projects and working directly with affected communities.

“Second, as cholera spreads so rapidly, honing a surveillance system that can detect outbreaks quickly is key to delivering effective treatment and rolling out vaccines to those in need.

“Third, it remains important that global vaccine production is incentivized, increased and nurtured regionally.”

He ended by saying that, “These are difficult times. But we must not forget that these challenges can be overcome.  

“As we speak, countries and communities and organizations, including WHO and so many partners, are working to alleviate the suffering.

“There is hope but it must be nurtured and supported, and we must do more. The health of all depends on that.”

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