Reader Comments

Post a new comment on this article

A missing anchor?

Posted by tikkipang on 29 Jan 2010 at 10:14 GMT

In an insightful and timely series of articles, Szlezak, Frenk, Keusch, Moon and colleagues [1] highlight the current problems facing the global health system, identify one successful model of collaboration, propose that national health systems are critically important, and identify lessons learnt and future needs. They correctly propose that innovative and more flexible arrangements "anchored by WHO's political legitimacy" is a way forward with regards to dealing with future health threats. However, there is another anchor which is missing. The most innovative collaborative arrangements, the strongest national health systems, the most robust monitoring and evaluation systems and the highest quality research must be anchored in a more aspirational set of shared, collective goals and values. Although Moon identifies some procedural principles, similar values of equity, social justice, transparency, ethical behaviour and accountability must anchor the entire global health system if it is to help WHO achieve the laudable goal of "the highest possible level health for all people". In the broader contemporary context of "global integration but local disintegration" [2] this represents the most pressing and difficult challenge for the global health system.


1. Szlesak et al., Keusch et al, Frenk J, Moon et al. PLOS Medicine, Jan, 2010 issue.
2. Kennedy P (2009). The voyage onward-navigating the shoals of global integration and tribal disintegration. IHT Magazine, Dec 12, 2009, pp 39-40.

No competing interests declared.