WHO: Independent Evaluation Of Global COVID-19 Response Announced

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Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus,  the Director General, World Health Organisation (WHO) on Thursday announced the initiation of  Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response (IPPR) to evaluate world’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Ghebreyesus announced this at a news conference at the WHO Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the decision to initiate IPPR was reached at the historic 73rd World Health Assembly in May.

Member states adopted a landmark resolution that called on WHO to initiate an independent and comprehensive evaluation of the lessons learned from the international health response to COVID-19.

In his speech, Ghebreyesus said the panel would be co-chaired by former Prime Minister of New Zealand,  Helen Clark and former President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.

“Prime Minister Clark woukd lead the United Nations Development Programme and President Sirleaf is a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.

“Operating independently, they will choose other panel members, as well as members of an independent secretariat to provide support.

“Clark and Sirleaf were selected through a process of broad consultation with member states and world experts.

“I cannot imagine two more strong-minded, independent leaders to help guide us through this critical learning process,” he said.

According to him, this is time to look at the world we live in and to find ways to strengthen our collaboration as we work together to save lives and bring this pandemic under control.

“The magnitude of this pandemic, which has touched virtually everyone in the world, clearly deserves a commensurate evaluation,” he said.

The director general also proposed that a Special Session of the Executive Board be called in September to discuss the panel’s progress.

“In November, the panel will present an interim report at the resumption of the World Health Assembly.

“In January 2021, the Executive Board will hold its regular session, where the panel’s work will be further discussed; and in May next year, at the World Health Assembly, the panel will present its substantive report,” he said.

He said that the Independent Oversight and Advisory Committee for the WHO Health Emergency Programme would also continue its existing work.

“Even as we fight this pandemic, we must be ready for future global outbreaks and the many other challenges of our time such as antimicrobial resistance, inequality and the climate crisis

“COVID-19 has taken so much from us. But it is also giving us an opportunity to break with the past and build back better,’’ the director general said.

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