World Health Organization, Before and During COVID-19: Preparations, Efforts and Criticisms
The novel coronavirus, COVID-19 emerged in Wuhan, China and spread rapidly to other parts of China and other countries. After increasing number of cases were observed in Iran, then in Europe; World Health Organization made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic. The organization had a self-critic and work on lessons learned after the Ebola outbreak and declare a statement on what to do to prepare for a next probable outbreak. This statement assessed that Ebola served as a reminder that the world, including the organization, is “ill-prepared” for a larger outbreak. This study’s purpose is to evaluate WHO’s actions during the period between Ebola outbreak and beginning of the COVID-19 pandemics and to assess WHO’s response to COVID-19 in respect to seven WHO Ebola self-critic statement titles. Firstly, it was demonstrated that WHO contributed the preparation and operation process of COVID-19 effectively in terms of its conventional functions as consultancy, technical expertise, training and stewardship. It was observed that WHO had been confronted with severe constraints in matter of coordination between private sector,regulatory bodies, public authorities and universities because of its organisational structure, role and limited acting power. WHO experienced significant rigors in matter of rapid response and drawn rightful criticism. This was evaluated mostly because of its structure which lacks imposing sanctions and open to effects of countries. WHO needs a broader and more collaborative self-critic than that of it had after Ebola crisis and discuss about a reconstruction and transformation courageously.
Mustafa Said YILDIZ