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Year : 2023  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 31

The role of world health organization in the face of COVID-19 global crisis: The contradiction between ethical principles and political tensions

Cellular and Molecular Research Center, Gerash University of Medical Sciences, Gerash, Iran

Date of Submission20-Oct-2021
Date of Acceptance26-Oct-2021
Date of Web Publication17-Mar-2023

Correspondence Address:
Masoud Mohammadi
Gerash University of Medical Sciences, Imam Hossein Blvd, Daneshjoo Blvd, Gerash, Fars
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijpvm.ijpvm_449_21

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How to cite this article:
Mohammadi M. The role of world health organization in the face of COVID-19 global crisis: The contradiction between ethical principles and political tensions. Int J Prev Med 2023;14:31

How to cite this URL:
Mohammadi M. The role of world health organization in the face of COVID-19 global crisis: The contradiction between ethical principles and political tensions. Int J Prev Med [serial online] 2023 [cited 2023 Oct 1];14:31. Available from: https://www.ijpvmjournal.net/text.asp?2023/14/1/31/371953

Dear Editor,

The World Health Organization, abbreviated as WHO, is one of the United Nations agencies established on April 7, 1948, with the approval of the United Nations General Assembly.[1],[2] The WHO is responsible for guiding, coordinating, and promoting the health of the world's people within the framework of the United Nations. In fact, it provides control, organization, provision of consulting, diagnostic, control, and therapeutic measures and measures to countries around the world.[1],[2]

Such an organization can be very helpful in dealing with the problems and diseases that affect the world, such as the COVID-19 pandemic in accordance with its policy, and reduce the further conflict and harm of the countries of the world with this disease.[2]

The WHO relies on donations from member states and private organizations to finance itself. The WHO budget for 2020–2021 is set at $ 4.84 billion.[3],[4] The budget has been requested and requested from member states, and at the same time as the pandemic, the United States has suspended funding to the WHO due to the “failure.”

Although the United States is the largest funding provider for the WHO with 22%,[4] the President of the United States has decided to suspend funding to the WHO in the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. Such a situation highlights the structural flaws of the WHO. Although the WHO has been set up with a clear, efficient, and appropriate goal and can be effective in the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been funded by the Member States. If a member such as the United States, which pays the largest share of the organization's financial resources, allows itself to so-called “punish” the organization by a mistake or action that is considered wrong by that country, the performance of this global organization can be hugely endangered or practically suspended.

The current situation shows the political nature of this organization, that every country thinks that based on the share of budget they provide to the WHO, they should also have similar share in the governing structure of the organization and expect the same level of services. The WHO should strengthen its structure beyond the current political dilemma and adopts a transnational structure, and member states should adhere to the principles of this organization and not make their assistance to this organization conditional on political goals.

Although the previous US administration has now been replaced by the new administration, the WHO should be excluded from any government policy, as you can see, the current US administration is cooperating with the WHO. This is exactly the problem, an international organization that considers global health should not be a toy of the arbitrary policies of the old and new governments, and each should not have its own policies.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

World Health Organization, about who. AvailableFrom: https://www.who.int/about.  Back to cited text no. 1
World Health Organization. Thirteenth General Programme of Work 2019-2023. Available from: https://www.who.int/about/what-we-do/gpw-thirteen-consultation/en/.  Back to cited text no. 2
World Health Organization. Budget. Available from: https://www.who.int/about/finances-accountability/budget/en/.  Back to cited text no. 3
Global Health Policy, the U.S. Government and the World Health Organization. Available from: https://www.kff.org/global-health-policy/fact-sheet/the-u-s-government-and-the-world-health-organization/.  Back to cited text no. 4


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