Having been criticised for its handling of the 2014-2016 West Africa Ebola epidemic, the Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) has commended the WHO's response to the latest outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
In his first annual letter, published just over a year after taking office, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he was proud of how the organisation has responded to the outbreak in the DRC, but said the situation reminded him of what is at stake every day he comes to work. “The outbreak in DRC illustrates once again that health security and universal health coverage are two sides of the same coin. The best thing we can do to prevent future outbreaks is to strengthen health systems everywhere,” he said.
Dr Tedros also used the letter to highlight the WHO’s 13th General Programme of Work (GPW), which has been developed 12 months ahead of term and will establish the WHO’s mission and strategic plan for the short and long term. Dr Tedros stressed that the new GPW is about making a bigger impact and not “reinventing the wheel”.