WHO and Others: How Their Fights for Global Health are Killing Us. – Graham Koester

There are many issues facing the new field of Global Health in the world today. There may be an increase in funding but there are even more organizations fighting for different causes and the dedications of funds to them. This brings about the question of who should have final say as to which cause gets the most attention. Should it be malaria, west Nile, diarrheal disease, diseases that can be prevented by vaccine or the more recent issue of ebola? There are also questions f whether to be spending more money on prevention or curing. With the issue of HIV/AIDS we seem to be stuck with trying to prevent due to patent laws on the life prolonging drugs and with ebola we still seem to be incapable of affording the necessary equipment in the necessary quantities.

Providers of health care services globally are facing issues of finding funds for their specific causes. In the 1990s the World Health Organization was the organization, almost solely, responsible for solving health problems around the world. In more recent years we have seen a rapid growth in the number of NGOs fighting different, specific causes. This means that the market for funding has become more and more a battlefield between different global health dangers.

Also how do we say that one health issue is more important than another? Obviously right now we must confront the issue of ebola due to its high mortality rate and the ease with which it is spread, but beyond that there are many other issues of equal worry. Garrett discusses the fact that these organizations have a slow reaction time. This is due to the fact that by the time a major health issue is brought to these organizations’ attention, it is much too late to take effective action in preventing the disease’s spread. By the time ebola became a headline in the United States it had already become a pandemic in Africa.

Then the organizations face the issue of how to raise funds for a specific issue in time to prevent the situation from getting worse. As I stated earlier, with so many different organizations it is hard to create an organized front against an issue. If the WHO were to regain its status as the leader in world health issues then it would have more funding and capabilities. With these gained resources they would be able to orchestrate fundraisers quicker and more effectively. The organization would be able to fight different issues at a swifter pace with a more direct focus.


One thought on “WHO and Others: How Their Fights for Global Health are Killing Us. – Graham Koester”

  1. This post points out to important problems in the Global Health area as the existence of multiple organizations that compete with each other over funds, which happened, mainly, after the WHO lost its leading role in the fight against diseases and mortality in the 1990s. However, it is also significant to notice the rise of influence of private donors such as the Gates Foundation, which donate such a large amount of money to institutions that can actually weight an organization toward a specific matter. Therefore, these donors are an important force in Global Health since they can be major actors when deciding which disease should receive more attention and resources through the world. So, these donations can become a problem if you have an outbreak as Ebola that needs immediately response, but you principal donors are against it or just think that other issues are expressive as well.


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