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April 20, 2011

Reforming the World Health Organization

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford, Oxford, England (Dr Sridhar); and O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, DC (Mr Gostin).

JAMA. 2011;305(15):1585-1586. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.418

In December 2010, Jack Chow,1 the former World Health Organization (WHO) assistant director-general, asked, “Is the WHO becoming irrelevant?” A month later, the WHO's executive board considered the agency's future within global health governance. After a year-long consultation with member states on its financing, Director-General Margaret Chan called the WHO overextended and unable to respond with speed and agility to today's global health challenges.2

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