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Why finger- pointing to World Health Organization?

                               

 

Why finger- pointing to World Health Organization?

 

W.Yilma                                                          4/8/2020

 

As we all know our world is hit by Corona Virus (COVID-19) pandemic. Although this virus has similarity with the previous two coronaviruses’ outbreaks, SARS and MERS, the nature of the COVID-19, the level of speeds how it spread to susceptible population, and its severity in different social groups is a puzzle for many scientists and other public health workers. Above all, the COVID-19 is a mystery for many and no one knows during the first weeks of its outbreak and then after. Even now no one knows fully the nature of this virus, and this the reason why many countries are scrambling to curb the disease outbreaks as fast as possible before it causes significant social and economic loses. Therefore, it is imperative to focus on how to abate this disease through global cooperation. Blaming game and pointing finger to one another is not helping anyone, and will not compensate what the world has lost as the result of COVID-19 outbreaks. Taking experience from Chinas how they managed to bring under control this deadly virus which has externalities in short period of time will help others to do the same. To bring COVID-19 under control improving the public health services, infrastructure and the participation of the public to implement all control mechanisms are very crucial.

Why China managed to bring under control COVID-19, while USA and other developed countriesfailed to do the same is a subject of discussions at this time. The simple answer to this question is that china government has an authoritative power to implement rules and regulation in time like this when one-personreckless actions could affect others. On the contrary, in America it is hard to do the same, because individual rights and Neoliberal corporate economic interest supersede societal or group interest, even in time like this. In China the public health services and infrastructures are well developed and has equipped to tackle unexpected disaster like this. On the other hand, in America the public health service is poorly financed and staffed, easily exhausted to tackle broad disease outbreaks like COVID-19.   

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This time when the spread of COVID-19 increased in the USA, the president Donald Trump administration start pointing finger on World Health Organization (WHO), as if this organization is the one who should be blamed.What need to mention here is that the US president was got a memo from his staff members in January (some said end of November) about COVID-19 outbreaks in Wuhan region China, and the national threats it may cause to USA and the rest of the world. But he ignored to take a precaution measures in case of COVID-19 introduce to USA. Now when US America become an epicenter of COVID-19 pandemic, he starts to blame WHO. Let’s say WHO failed to notify the US and the rest of the world about the risk of COVID-19 spread.Knowing the USA, and other western countries how their health-related institutions and their agencies works in particular in time of newly emerging disease outbreaks, like COVID-19, their governments relied entirely on their own experts’ recommendations. President Donald Trump using WHO as a “scapegoat” is simply to cover up the failure of US America health system, and his determination to side with corporate America to generate more money at the suffering of millions. Why not he blaming Center for Disease Control (CDC), US Department of Health and Human Services and others relevant offices who have the responsibilities to work closely with WHO and advise the US government to take necessary measures before the COVID-19 took human life and cause devastating economic losses? Where is US America epidemiological intelligence services? What are they doing while COVID -19 become an epidemic to American soil?   Blaming WHO and put a hold on USA funding to this organization is not only wrong but also it will put US at risk for similar pandemic outbreaks in the future since disease agents do not respect boundaries.

 What Donald Trump and other US politicians are saying now and before about WHO is completely different. Why Donald Trump ignored his own advisers’ recommendations in the month of January and then supported the WHO recommendation in March to declare COVID-19 as a pandemic and a threat for the world communities? For any disease outbreaks there are universal standard and protocols everyone should follows, and COVID-19 is not an exception. In this kind of approaches, in particular during newly emerging disease like COVID-19 some problems could occur during the initial diagnostic and epidemiological investigation process. During SARS and MERS outbreaks where Dr. Tewodros is not in charge of WHO, the same thing has happened. What makes the situation different now is not because of the head of W.H.O, but the nature of COVID-19 high virulence, its rapid spread, and failure of governments to fund and develop their health care system, and denying of the environmental impacts and its effects in future generation. The later have direct and indirect impacts on pathogenic agents either to become as newly emerging disease or to increase their virulence in susceptible populations, as a result of altering their genetic material. If our world continues to keep the interest of the very few Neoliberals global wealthy corporates, by denying the vast majority population basic interest, our world will see in the future more misery as a result of newly emerged diseases.

Since the beginning of COVID-19 outbreaks, some western countries are campaigning against WHO head Dr. Tewodros Adhanom. I do not have issue with those westerners, but what amazed me is that there are many Ethiopians who are actively participating (due to hate against one social group) in this campaign to remove Dr. Tedros from WHO office. I think Ethiopia is at the point where it becomes hard to live together as a unified country. This is the result of the Nobel Prize holder who is in fond of admiring Diaspora politics and trying to implement in the country without understanding the danger it could poses to the country. And for some naive Ethiopians the reason is clear. It is politics and race. Dr Tedros is from Tigray and at the same time he is from Africa.  Those Ethiopians who eat Macdonald sandwich more than what their body needs, they don’t know Dr Tewodros achievements in expanding health services and infrastructures to reach the poor Ethiopians, how he made efforts to change and improve their livelihoods. They don’t know the achievements Ethiopia has recorded in implementing the Millennium Development Goal (MGD), to alleviate poverty, lowering infant and maternal mortality, increasing survival rate under 5 years of age, decreasing malaria, Tuberculosis, HIV infections, gender equality and many more the MGD sets to achieve in a given time. In facts many of these individuals do not have knowledge to understand these complex activities, Dr Tewodros has achieved, and a reason why he was nominated to compete for WHO office. Some ignorant individuals talking what Dr. Tewodros did for Ethiopia after he came to head of W.H.O. Dr. Tewodros is the head of WHO not Ethiopian ministry of health. He treated Ethiopia equal with other countries. 

I do not know how the WHO works. But what I understand is that the head of the WHO is a person who make a decision based on the advices or recommendations his experts are presented to him. I believe WHO have highly qualified experts to analyze, synthesize and quantify collected information or data to forecast what it will looks likes when there is an outbreak of an emerging disease, like COVID-19. Dr. Tewodros is not like Donald Trump to decide things based on assumptions. His job description does not allow him to do that. Therefore, I assume, collective leadership is in place, and any recommendations release to other relevant parties arebased on scientific evidence, which I believe is a standard working procedure for W.H.O. It is better for western world to stop an excuse by pointing their fingers on others, and better to concentrate to deal with the problem our world is facing today.For those Ethiopians who are on the wrong side of history, invest your valuable time, efforts, and money to help those in need to fight COVID-19 and poverty. 

May God safe this world from COVID-19 disaster!

 

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