Perhaps click on WHO’s own Emergency Bulletin link (below) and look at Ethiopia, currently in the grips of a prolonged cholera outbreak but refusing to admit that it is cholera. Then realize that WHO is complicit in having it labelled, “Acute Watery Diarrhea” before holding up former Ethiopian Minister of Health, Ethiopian Minister of Foreign Affairs and current WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus as a paragon of healthcare advocacy.
Then perhaps write an article about the Ethiopian government fighting for years (now with an ally in charge of WHO) against one of the fundamental values of the International Health Regulations: transparent reporting.
Improving health systems in Africa is crucial, just as eradicating particular infectious diseases is necessary. The Western world has sustainable healthcare partly because they have fewer deadly infectious disease to deal with than African countries, for instance. If the UK, US or Canada was endemic for Malaria (plus other infectious diseases- combined) as most Sub-Saharan African countries are, I imagine they will have much less resources and personnel to commit to terminal diseases like Cancer.
The point is, eradicating some of the major deadly infectious diseases (like malaria, polio, TB, Yellow Fever, Ebola, Lassa fever, typhoid fever, cholera, tetanus, meningitis etc.) will free up resources and personnel towards building an even stronger health system.
Building strong health systems and eradicating deadly infectious disease are both crucial, but inseparable.
Almost half of the funds donated to support the Rotary International inspired Polio eradication effort are being used to shore up routine immunizations and child healthcare in the poorest and conflict involved countries. Those resources were also used to support the battle against the most recent Ebola outbreak. When Polio is eradicated more of those funds will be freed up to support other efforts. Terry Ziegler, Rotarian and Polio Eradication Newsletter Editor
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