Sharing knowhow and joining forces towards Health for All
Mar 21, 2018

The World Health Organization at the crossroads

The World Health Organization at the crossroads

Berlin, 21 March 2018. "The WHO’s financial dependence from big donors – rich member states as well as corporate linked Philanthropic Foundations as the Bill&Melinda Gates foundation – 80% of the budget is currently project earmarked – gives these external actors tremendous influence on the direction and action of WHO. With the decision of the WHO in 2017 to grant “special relations” to the Gates Foundation, this influence is even more increased. In addition, WHO’s dependence is strengthening the influence of Big Pharma and through this a techno-medical View on Global Health.

Lately, during the Ebola crisis, the deficits and risks of a weakened WHO became very visible.

The World Bank, numerous Global Public Private Partnerships for Health like GAVI or international meetings like the self-declared „World Health Summit (every September in Berlin) are relegating WHO to a the second place when answers on Global Health Questions are sought.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

However, WHO has repeatedly managed to keep her mandate as the central Institution for global Health Rights: Exactly 40 years ago, the member states of WHO committed themselves in the „Alma Ata Declaration“ to Health as a Human Right and a Question of Equity, Equality and Participation. 2008 WHO released the Report of her Commission on Social Determinants for Health which states unanimously: »Social Injustice kills on a Grand Scale«.

These internal ambivalences of a WHO in the stranglehold poses questions that we want to discuss with our speakers during the three events:

Did WHO itself create the conflict of interests by opening the doors to Pharma and Philanthrocapitalists and forgot to claim higher assessed (unrestricted) contributions from the member states? How can the role of WHO as the central Institution for Global Health Rights and Policies be resurrected? And is this indeed necessary and needed?

This medico workshop is part of the Conference Poverty & Health, an annual event that has become the biggest Public Health event in Germany over the years. Medico contributes to this conference with workshops on global health issues for now almost 15 years."

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