The WHO’s Classical Approach to Disease Eradication
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Virtually upon its creation, and at the urging of the organization’s member states, the WHO secretariat immediately set about exercising its newly bestowed powers in disease prevention, control, and eradication. This chapter explores three of the WHO’s disease eradication initiatives — the MEP, the SEP, and the WHO’s attempts to eliminate tuberculosis (Global TB Programme). Drawing on Haas’ typology of IO learning (1990, pp. 17–49), attention will be given to identifying where there is evidence of epistemic communities having formed alliances with key partners to advance their own agenda. In addition, the chapter identifies and compares the roles that the WHO secretariat assumed throughout the eradication campaigns, as well as the organization’s overall governance approach. In so doing, it is apparent that there is evidence to suggest that the IO learned from past mistakes and developed a standard or classical approach to managing infectious disease threats — an approach which, as will be discussed in the next chapter, was then radically reshaped around the time of the 2003 SARS outbreak.