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 …

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

Infectious Diseases as a New Threat to International Peace and Security

The Security Council and the Securitization of Health

The last quarter of century registered the resurgence of infectious diseases, that the medical community deemed to have defeated with the global vaccination campaign. Global health challenges, represented by pandemics such as HIV/AIDS, SARS, Ebola and Zika, arisen in developing countries, whose spread in developed countries has been facilitated by the process of globalization, determined the emersion of a global/collective interest to the protection of health. The global health governance …

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

The Human Right to Health in Africa: Great Expectations, but Poor Results

Thirty years after the entry into force of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR), the protection of human rights still encounters many difficulties in the majority of the African States. Above all, the implementation of the ‘second generation’ human rights seems largely unrealistic, in spite of the great expectations emerging from the pertaining legal texts. The human right to health, enshrined in Article 16 of the ACHPR, …

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

Fostering Regional Health Governance in West Africa: The Role of the West African Health Organization (WAHO)

Regional integration in Africa has been regarded as a necessary step towards accelerated development on the continent. The belief is that greater gains would be made if states pooled their resources together rather than act individually. Despite elaborate regional goals and objectives, regional institutions in Africa have not been effective in facilitating development, for two major reasons. First, they have significant capacity deficits, especially considering the weakness of their members …

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

Creating Legal Effects for the WHO’s International Health Regulations (2005) – Which way forward?

During the Ebola-crisis 2014, states have widely ignored the measures recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and have interfered in the fight against the disease. This blogpost suggests ways to address shortcomings in states’ adherence to the law. Global Health Crisis and the World Health Organization Globalization facilitates the worldwide spread of diseases. Recently, Ebola throughout Western Africa, and Zika in Latin America and the Caribbean gave rise to …

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

Ebola Epidemic 2014-2015 – a Wake-Up Call for Sustainable Health Governance and Development Policy

After the first appearances of the Ebola epidemic in December 2013, the disease spread wide and fast, exceeding any previous Ebola epidemic with regard to incidence and prevalence and was declared a pandemic by WHO. Before 2013, the outbreaks of this highly infectious disease were locally restricted and primarily situated in rural areas. The latest outbreak of this epidemic, however, expanded to the urban population as well as across borders. …

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

International Health Governance of Disease Outbreaks

The recent Ebola crisis that shook West Arica, exceeded any previous Ebola epidemic and later was declared a pandemic by the WHO not only stretched local health care systems, but also revealed deep structural deficiencies in the international response to health issues of such a scale. The outbreak of this virus that crossed boarders easily and cost the lives of so many people raises fundamental questions regarding the actors and …

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