Members of the O’Neill Institute and Dr. Margaret Chan

The O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law was pleased to attend Georgetown University’s Global Futures Initiative lecture by Dr. Margaret Chan, Director General of the World Health Organization on the “Global Future of Governance.”  Members of our team were invited to submit responses to the Global Futures Initiative blog, which are excerpted below.
The Indispensable Role of Law, Oscar A. Cabrera and Susan C. Kim

As health lawyers, we were gratified when Dr. Margaret Chan championed the essential role that law plays in the future of global health governance during her Global Futures lecture.
We would, however, go one step further – law is not merely essential to the future of global health governance, it is indispensable.  The reason for this is perhaps deceptively simple – a house cannot be built without a foundation, and the foundation for governance at any level – local, national, regional, or global – is law.  Read Full Post.

A Right to Functioning Healthcare Systems, Faith S. Boateng, Global Health Law LL.M. 2016 Candidate

WHO’s response to the Ebola crisis was swift and commendable though late in time due to delayed reporting. The development of an Ebola vaccine and its clinical trials gives the three African countries plagued by the virus and indeed the world at large confidence that never again will Ebola take as many lives, and it also signals that WHO’s preparedness against future crises is in order.
However, global health governance continues to suffer from failures to: prevent health problems from becoming global dangers, implement important treaties on global health, develop stronger health systems in developing countries and stimulate sufficient progress on social determinants of health. Many of these failures stem from broken health systems in countries like Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone—not just from inadequacies of international organizations.  Read Full Post.

Lessons Learned From the Ebola Crisis, Anna Tordjmann, Global Health Law LL.M. 2016 Candidate

The Ebola outbreak was one of the most serious epidemics of the 21st century. According to the Ebola Situation Report from the WHO dated 14 October 2015, the Ebola outbreak caused 11,297 deaths out of 28,454 identified cases in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The international community harshly criticized the WHO for its handling of the Ebola crisis. The criticisms centered on four main problems: the failure of the WHO to respond quickly to the outbreak; the lack of coordination with local authorities; the confusion of interventions in the affected countries; and the fear generated by a lack of information disclosed to the populations. To those critics, Director-General Margaret Chan humbly admitted that the WHO did not effectively respond to the Ebola tragedy and acknowledged that the organization learned precise lessons from that episode.  Read Full Post.

Additional information about Georgetown’s Global Futures Initiative, including upcoming events can be found here.