Photo by UNMEER/Martine Perret. 15 December 2014
International Health GovernanceSymposium

The WHO’s Institutional and Legal Role in Communicable Disease Epidemics: From Pandemic Influenza to Zika

On 1 February, 2016, the World Health Organization´s (WHO) Director-General declared that the Zika virus epidemic in the Americas is a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). The illness caused by this virus is very rarely fatal, and it causes mild symptoms: rash, headaches, conjunctivitis, sometimes fever and joint pains. Besides, an estimated 80% of cases are asymptomatic, which makes it next to impossible to establish an exact number …



Reforms of the World Health Organization in light of the Ebola crisis in West Africa: More delegation, more teeth?

The 68th World Health Assembly took place from 18 to 26 May, 2015. The Assembly is the maximum decision-making organ of the World Health Organization (WHO). In this forum, there were calls for institutional reform in light of the belated response to the Ebola crisis in West Africa. More recently, an Ebola Interim Assessment Panel Report was published, containing concrete proposals to reform some of WHO’s legal mechanisms for health …