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World Health Organization Handling of Coronavirus Epidemic-An Essay

 

Introduction

The World Health Organization is an agency of the United Nations comprising of 194 countries as of 2016 (Wikipedia). World States become full members by ratifying the Constitution of the World Health Organization. The WHO has its headquarters in Geneva Switzerland, and as part of its administrative and operational structures, WHO has six regional offices including Africa with its Headquarters in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo; Western Pacific Headquarters in Manila Philippines; Eastern Mediterranean Headquarters in Cairo, Egypt; South East Asia Headquarters in New Delhi India; Europe Headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark; and the Americas Headquarters in Washington D.C United States. The goals of WHO as articulated through its Constitution “is the attainment by all people of the highest possible level of health”.

The WHO was formed on the 7th of April, 1948, and is currently led by Tedros Adhanon-Director-General, with three Deputy Director Generals;  Soumya Swaminathan; Jane Ellison and Peter Salama.

 Goals of the WHO

The World Health Organization’s goal is to “coordinate health affairs within the United Nations system, Its initial priorities were malaria, tuberculosis, venereal disease, and other communicable diseases, plus women and children’s health, nutrition and sanitation”.

The WHO from the start works with other agencies of the United Nations, donors, NGOs and the Private sector to address disease outbreaks reported to them from member countries. The WHO employs 8,000 Doctors its budget for 2002-2003 was $2, 23 billion (Wikimedia). Among many of its successes includes……. And the Agency was criticized for being too slow in reacting to the HIV/AIDS epidemic when it exploded across the world the organization was also criticized during the “1995 outbreak of Ebola virus in the Congo, which raged for three months unbeknownst to WHO”, despite the fact that WHO had one of its Headquarters in Congo.

This problem “revealed a startling lack of global public health surveillance and notification systems. So in 1997, WHO (in collaboration with Canada) rolled out the Global Public Health Intelligence Network (GPHIN), which took advantage of the information on the Internet to function as an early warning system for potential epidemics”.

Some of the organization’s successes include WHO vaccine projects “In response to the ongoing yellow fever outbreak in Brazil, some 3.5 million doses of vaccine from the emergency stockpile were deployed to the country through the International Coordinating Group on Vaccine Provision for yellow fever”.

  “Nearly 5 million children under the age of 5 have been vaccinated in a nationwide campaign covering all governorates in Yemen”. During the Iraqi crisis the WHO provided logistics support for the World Food Program and airlifted 15 fully equipped ambulances to Iraq to help in the response to trauma cases.

The Funding of WHO comes from two primary sources Assessed Contributions and Voluntary Contributions

  • assessed contributions(set amounts expected to be paid by member-state governments, scaled by income and population) and
  • voluntary contributions(other funds provided by member states, plus contributions from private organizations and individuals).(Source: Global Health Factsheet )

For the year 2018-2019 Assessed contributions totaled $956.9 Million 17% of its budget while Voluntary Contributions totaled $4.4 Billion or 80% of its budget. The United States and other countries such as China and others make up the assessed contributions.

According to information provided by the WHO, “Where the total annual assessed contribution for a Member State is USD 200,000 or greater, that Member’s contributions are assessed half in United States dollar and a half in Swiss francs, otherwise, contributions are assessed in United States dollars only. WHO accepts Voluntary Supplementary Assessed Contributions (VAC).

So contributions from member states are reliable and dependable for WHO operational cost but accounts for 17% of total Operational cost.

How Much Does the United States Contribute to WHO

 According to WHO data, the US has been invoiced for its 2020-21 period for its Contribution as follows

United States of America (amount in millions) 57,883,460 and 59,099,013 the outstanding payment is 99,168,375 99,128,271. Remember payments are made in two currencies the first amount is in US dollars, and the second amount is in Swiss Francs. To get the total just convert the second amount to US dollars and add to the first number to derive the annual payment for that country. I did the math and came up to $102,197,183

Total Payment for US is $99,168,375 plus $102,197,183 = $201,365,558 Mil for 2020/2021

How Much Does China Contribute to WHO Annually

According to the information on WHO website China has also been billed for 20-21 (amount in millions) for 28,719,905 29,323,023   outstanding balance 28,719,905 29,323,023. = $30,236,787 Remember payments are made in two currencies the first amount is in US dollars, and the second amount is in Swiss Francs. To get the total just convert the second amount to US dollars and add to the first number to derive the annual payment for that country

Total Payment for China is 28,719,905 plus 30,236,787 = $58,956,692 Mil for 2020/21

Both the United States and China have not yet paid for contributions for the 2020/21 budget year which runs from April 2020 to March 2021.

To Be Continued

 

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