Ahead of the WHO general assembly in May 2024, the Pan African Epidemic and Pandemic Working Group has flagged a pending Pandemic Treaty of the World Health Organization underpinned by the revised International Health Regulations.

The group constituted by seasoned professors from universities and research institutions of repute across the world have described the draft Treaty as a blanket threat to the health sovereignty of entire countries especially less developed nations.

The draft which effectively grants the WHO exclusive powers to unilaterally define what constitutes Global Pandemics, determine mandatory Response measures, deploy forced pandemic health products including vaccines and impose mandatory restrictions; has been viewed as representing the interests of the Global North and other Pandemic Entrepreneurs directly funding the WHO.

“The WHO is coming up with some tools that will essentially make sure that the director general of the WHO will be able to unilaterally declare a pandemic. It comes with the meaning that they are not going to consult different nations based on their local and individual conditions during pandemics of global nature.”

They are simply going to look into their laboratories somewhere in New York or Geneva to declare what is a global pandemic,” Prof Sebastian Paalo Senior lecturer and researcher at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology said in a news conference held by the group on the KNUST campus in Kumasi.

Prof Paalo warned that handing such sweeping authority to a private organization posed serious consequences including rendering the health administrations of individual states subservient to the orders and demands of authorities whose motivations might not be entirely altruistic.

“There is going to be a central control concentrated within the wealthy countries who fund the WHO. The new agenda is certainly going to lead to a loss of health sovereignty. When South Africa spoke during COVID, we were told nothing good could come from Africa and all of our local agencies were shelved to cling unto what the WHO had for us,”

He further cautioned that the treaty would embolden the WHO to repeat the imposition of border restrictions, mandatory administration of vaccines, and lockdowns implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic with no regard for the peculiar health, economic, and social conditions pertinent to less developed countries

“We saw the WHO’s failings in handling COVID-19. This led to a very disproportionate impact to the extent that your economy was under a lock down even when you were not suffering the same impact of COVID like the UK OR PEOPLE IN New York were suffering. You were going to suffer further underdevelopment and further poverty particularly against women and people living below the poverty line,” he averred.

Demanding that the WHO holds on with the provisions in the treaty, Prof Paalo contended, “we argue that resources do not end with a Dollar, Pound nor a Euro note. Neither do resources end with a modern laboratory in New York or Geneva.”

Aside advocacy, the professor of history and political studies further challenged local African authorities to recognize and hail internal resources and known traditional medical practices to resist what he termed, “the violence of pandemic governance riding on the backs of a few violent democracies to visit violence on weaker economies.”

Colonial Connotations

Professor of Philosophy at the University of Nairobi Prof Reginald MJ Oduor, raised grave concerns about what he called the silent voices of African researchers and scholars at a time “the dark clouds of the draft WHO Pandemic Treaty and amended International Health Regulations gathered at an alarming speed”.

He described as overbearing, the provisions of the treaty which emphasizes what he called an erroneous one health approach, restricts freedom to express diverse opinions and encourages the use of medications and vaccines under emergency use authorization.

“The who treaty seeks to impose the so called one health approach which proceeds from the dubious assumption that the value of the health of humans is the same as that of domestic animals, wildlife ecosystems and so on. This we believe is a devaluation of human lives,” he pointed out.

He expressed worry that the WHO was on an oppressive mission to legitimize and repeat the labelling of every information that challenged the WHO’s position on COVID 19 as misinformation and disinformation in the event of any other global pandemic.

“The draft WHO Treaty proposes to entrench censorship of opinion on public health measures in international law. It states ‘the WHO shall collaborate with and promptly assist state parties in particular developing countries upon request, in discounting the dissemination of false and unreliable information about public health events, preventative and anti-epidemic measures in the media, social networks and other ways of disseminating information’.”

Prof Reginald MJ Oduor, questioned why the WHO will demand in the treaty that state parties agree to quickly administer pandemic pharmaceutical products to their citizens under emergency use authorizations and further demand that the states bear the responsibilities of any liabilities that may arise from the use of those medications.

Prof MJ Oduor, described as unconscionable the perpetual promotion of a colonial policy of dismissing every non-western medical knowledge system when all indications suggest that Western Medical Methods are very open to limitations and human error.

“That is how the colonizers pejoratively referred to our healers as witch doctors and this killed vast bodies of traditional medical knowledge,” he stated.

Challenging the Pandemic Agenda

Prof David Bell, a Global Health Physician and consultant at the university of Leeds who formally worked for the WHO as a scientific and medical officer provided hard data to disprove inferences from the G20 and the World Bank asserting that there is increased probability of global health threats and an existential risk of deadly and costly pandemics across the world.

The Pandemic Agenda which feeds on scattered data sets have been adduced to back a demand for some 31.1 billion dollars annual spending in Pandemic Readiness and Preparedness Expenditure in anticipation of a forecasted wave of global pandemics.

He cataloged a number of medical breakthroughs including PCR Testing, Point of Care Antigen tests, urology tests, and Genome Sequencing which have essentially increased the world’s capacity to detect diseases that were not easily identified some fifty years ago to reduce mortality.

He provided data on the reducing threats of outbreaks in diseases like Ebola, Lassa fever, Marburg, yellow fever and cholera to challenge the G20 reports pointing to increased risks of deadly outbreaks.

From the data provided some of the fatalities from these diseases recorded over the past twenty years were similar to the number of persons killed by tuberculosis in the whole of Africa in ten days questioning the basis for predicting a rising threat of epidemics and pandemics.

“The WHO is using diseases that have actually gone better over the century and saying that they are an existential risk to justify the limitation of liberties and financial colonization of African countries,” he argued.

Superior African Consciousness

Social historian of medicine with the KNUST, Prof Samuel Adu Gyamfi called for African Leaders to approach the May General Health Assembly with the consciousness of projecting the unique advantages abundantly inherent in Africa’s own health resources.

We need conscious African leaders who will not just be interested in signing treaties and laws but leaders who come to the table with substance. The substance is that we have our own physicians, epidemiologists, and research scientists and we have other indigenous knowledge systems.

He gave assurances that the Pan African Epidemic and Pandemic Working Group is ready to take the education and advocacy as far as the legislature and the executive to ensure that the interest of each nation is prioritized in any discussion about the treaty.

Source: Ghana/Starrfm.com.gh/103.5FM/Ivan Heathcote – Fumador