chapter  8
WHO mediates the global right to health?
ByTheéodore H MacDonald
Pages 18

The World Health Organization (WHO) was one of the first agencies established, in 1948, by the UN to mediate the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Civil society representative Dr Hani Serag challenged the WHO and the Commission to address the ‘profound determinants such as violence, wars, and neoliberal policies’, and to allow the different components of the Commission to work independently. According to the WHO, strains of the virus traceable to Kano state have recently been traced to other parts of Nigeria, including the nation’s commercial capital, Lagos. WHO has fallen victim to neoliberal globalization – as have most social and economic institutions serving the public interest. In addition to the tragedy of continuing, avoidable disease and death, WHO has lost friends among the people it serves and has gained rich and powerful ‘partners’ in search of new areas of influence.