Resource detail

Resource ID 416
Title Building Trust, Taking Responsibility: Civil Society as Partners in Global Health Governance
Author Kathryn White and Maria Banda

Executive Summary 

 As humanity braces itself for its next encounter with a global pandemic far deadlier than SARS, it is in danger of choosing quick-fix solutions over long-term structural changes, with potentially catastrophic consequences. Influenza vaccines, border closures, and quarantines, while necessary, will do nothing to rid the world of the H5N1 virus, whose underlying causes exist elsewhere - the interface of unsound farming practices, unsustainable development, and crippling poverty. 

Taking a more broad-based approach from the perspective of civil society, we argue that controlling the looming avian influenza (AI) epidemic requires us to tackle simultaneously the global public health crisis. Since the poor cannot control epidemics on their own and the international system cannot fill the shoes of local governments, the global community, acting collectively, must invest in public health infrastructure, sanitation, and responsible development in the global South. Making these policies sustainable, however, requires comprehensive changes to agricultural practices, consumption patterns, trade regulations, and our interaction with our fellow citizens and our environment. Most if not all of these are addressed in the Millennium Development Goals agreed to by all countries in the UN system. It also requires engaging civil society in the structures of global health governance on all levels.  

Ultimately, mainstreaming developmental, human rights, security, and environmental considerations into influenza preparedness-planning calls for the “human security” model, which—by placing health, wealth, security, prosperity, and sustainable development into one inclusive framework—is the only way to generate consensus among all stakeholders on the controversial policies needed to lead our societies away from high-risk practices, and out of the shadow of the virus – and to reduce and prepare for future threats.

Resource type Paper
Source/origin External source
Record created 2014-07-20 12:00
Record updated 2014-07-20 12:00
Record editor Helen Parsons
Subjects Regulation and governance