WHO weer op verkeerde pad

De wereldgezondheidsorganisatie (WHO) wil de bestrijding van vetzucht net zo ‘succesvol’ ter hand nemen als de bestrijding van tabak. Dezelfde methodes dienen te worden gebruikt om mensen aan te zetten tot insnoeren van de buikriem.


“Was de WHO niet juist bedoeld om het gebrek aan voedsel (lees: honger) aan te pakken in plaats van het teveel aan voedsel?” vraagt volksgezondheidscriticus John Luik zich af in een uitgebreid artikel op Tech Central Station. Wereldwijd sterven er miljoenen aan ondervoeding en de WHO blijft zich richting het rijke westen keren.


Logisch, want de WHO richt zich op de belangen van haar sponsors en niet op de echte noden in de wereld.


Wiens brood men eet, wiens woord men spreekt. Dat geldt zeker voor de inefficiënte en corrupte WHO bureaucratie.


For example, according to WHO, about a billion people lack access to safe drinking water, while 80% of all illness in the world’s poorest regions is linked to water-bred diseases. Poor water and sanitation annually kills about five million people, according to the UN’s own statistics, and 50% of people in the developing world suffer from a disease associated with poor water quality and inadequate sanitation. Given these facts, you would think that there would be some carefully crafted plan, as part of the MDG strategy, for addressing these problems. Yet there is none.


What there is instead is a wealth of empty talk about action. Kofi Annan, for instance, speaks about the “sustained action across the entire decade between now and the deadline. It takes time to train the teachers, nurses and engineers; to build the roads, schools, and hospitals; to grow the small and large businesses able to create the jobs and income needed.” But this talk is disconnected from a credible strategic plan as to how such difficult goals can be met.


Compare this utter strategic disarray with the carefully thought out Grand Challenges in Global Health Project, for which the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is providing 450 million dollars, and which brings realizable plans to bear on 14 obstacles to a healthier world, and which actually offers the prospect, unlike the MDG, of improving the health of the world’s poorest people.


None of this should be surprising, for if there is one thing that the UN and its agencies like WHO are quite good at it is endless, meaningless, unintelligible talk. The UN is a master of transnational capacity strengthening, of inter-sectoral collaboration, of consultations designed to build institutional infrastructure, of fostering health-inducing environments, but an abject failure at reducing the incidence of malaria or infant mortality. This inability, whether from ineptness, indifference or corruption, to link the MDG with action plans means that the goals will not be met. And as Richard Tren observed in this space (9/16/05) “It is morally reprehensible for political leaders to sign onto goals they know they have no means of attaining.”


Tech Central Station artikel

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