Associated Press: US lawmakers demand WHO change opioid (6)

2 July, 2019

Dear HIFA colleagues,

This is good governance at its best. I am acknowledging the decisiveness of Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, MD and his team and for removing the inappropriate opiod guideline quickly, not because a powerful member country like the United States asked but because it was the right thing to do. The new guideline is comprehensive and humane. Here are excerpts:

- WHO is discontinuing these guidelines in light of new scientific evidence that has emerged since the time of their publication. This will also address any issues of conflicts of interest of the experts that have been raised.

- WHO remains fully committed to ensuring that people suffering severe pain have access to effective pain relief medication, including opioids. WHO is concerned that there is very low access to medication for moderate and severe pain, particularly in low and middle-income countries.

Why do we respect and look up to WHO? WHO is the only health standard setting agency in the world that gave us primary healthcare for all and that sets health guidelines for almost 8 billions of us. In 1945 when WHO was established, there were approximately 2.5 billion people in the world.

WHO’s statement;

Best wishes,


HIFA profile: Enku Kebede-Francis (PHD, MS, MEd) is an advisor in global health governance. She has worked for the United Nations (UNESCO, UNDP, UNFPA and UNDPI); was an Assistant Professor at Tufts University Medical School/Department of Public Health; and, a Visiting Scientist at the USDA’s Center for Human Nutrition Research Center for Aging and a Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University Medical School. She also designed and implemented preventive health programs promoting women’s health and tobacco cessation programs in Croatia and worked on addiction prevention programs in Florida and Massachusetts, USA. Her professional interests include preventing scurvy and childhood blindness in developing countries using micronutrients. An advocate for primary healthcare for all as a right, she published a textbook in 2010, Global health Disparities: closing the gap through good governance.