Roman 16:17-18 “ Now I urge you brothers , to watch out for those who cause dissensions and obstacles contrary to the doctrine you have learned. Avoid them, for such people do not serve our Lord Christ but their own appetites. They deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting with smooth talk and flattering word.”
This is a Hindu writer quoting from the Bible, so any thought of religious intentions should be kept at bay. When stand alone organizations like the World Health Organizations falter in their purpose; the sanctity of all such world organizations are in question. People will start losing their faith. This time it’s not about economies falling; that is just a repercussion. It is about death this time, my friends. There are a lot many communities in this world, lot many individuals and a lot many children who need these organizations to survive; to step into the future. When people start doubting such organizations, there is a fair chance of humanity collapsing as a whole.
“It has been 12 hours since my father-in-law passed away, silently. My wife just lost her father. We do not know whether his cremation is over. We were not there to weep besides his body.” — Arthur Wungthingthing, Dr Sailo’s son-in-law.
Dr John L Sailo Ryntathiang, the director of Bethany Hospital in Shillong was Meghalaya’s first COVID-19 patient, who passed away on 15 April. Meghalaya is a state in the North East of India.
Medicine is such a noble business and this business needs a lot of research to advance and research comes with a cost. That is completely understandable and acceptable. People are willing to make sacrifices for the greater cause. But when the business of medicine is polarized we are looking at a dark era. We are standing on the edge of extinction. Over the last three and half months, the world has lost about a hundred and fifty thousand human beings to this pandemic. This people died a death denied of a decent burial where loved ones can mourn their death. And all this because the global alma mater of health – the World Health Organization was intentionally slow to respond and subsequently when it did , it devoted too much of its precious time hash tagging the virus to COVID19. I am sorry sirs, it is not COVID19; the name itself sounds like a label in a laboratory. It is Wuhan Virus Flu and now we all even know the correct pronunciation: “/WHO’an Virus Flu/”.
Agreed these one hundred and fifty thousand people and many more to come would have died anyway someday. If life is a truth so is death a reality, every human being is programmed to adapt to that. But these people could have died in so many known ways of death and in different ways and in different times. The cause, nature and timing would not have been the same. And I bet many of them had a few more years left on this planet. Perhaps one day soon, we will have a cure and also prevention, but the dead will be long gone and their souls will be ghosts. Ghosts who will haunt humanity for what they have done to themselves borne out of greed. And perhaps the guilty will be punished too. The only thing is that, the ghosts won’t care. There is no need for justice in the realm of the dead.
Dr.Tedros Adhnom Ghebreyesus, the Director General of World Health Organization, sums up his vision for the organization: “We need a WHO that is efficiently managed, adequately resourced and results driven, with a strong focus on transparency, accountability and value for money.” How did we manage to fail, Director General Sir, with such a vision?
Dr. Ghebreyesus – (some who has Jesus in his surname), is a fifty year old internationally recognized microbiologist and malaria researcher from Ethiopia. He became the Director General of WHO in 2017 and in doing so he becomes the first non-physician and the first African in this role. For someone whose younger brother died at the age of four, possibly by a preventable disease, when global healthcare succumb to intentional ignorance is a surprise.
During its 140th meeting in January 2017, the executive board of WHO shortlisted Tedros as the front runner out of the six candidates through two rounds of secret voting. He collected the most votes during the rounds. Abhijit Iyer-Mitra, a senior fellow at the institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, opined in an opinion article in theprint.in: “But Tedros resolutely demonstrated to Beijing that he could turn any of his chosen people into Beijing apologists.” His article opens with this line in the first paragraph: “The very fact that a bipartisan committee chose to do this is the beginning of the end for a man who has clearly been a consummate player of cronyism since day one.” Abhijit was referring to the US House committee asking the WHO Director General for information on communications with China.
In 2017, along with Tedros two other candidates Dr. David Nabarro and Dr. Sania Nishtar were the finalists. As a matter of fact, Dr. Nabarro , who later on became to be one of the strongest critics of the Director General, was leading in his election campaign and was dubbed to be the favorite. Even Dr. Sania Nishtar, backed by the Government of Pakistan seemed doing well in her campaign. Strange are the ways of power, Dr. Nabarro later on became a strong advocator of the Director General. The myth remains open while the world continues to hunt spaces to bury their dead.
Even saints have a dark past and all is well if that darkness is buried deep, never to rise again. Tedros had a past too. He was an empowered official of the Derg military junta regime of Haile Miriam Mengistu and then as the Ethiopian’s health minister, being a part of a group who fought and overthrew the Derg. It is a point to ponder for India, as they have an Indian Dr Soumya Swaminathan, with a global vision, as the current chief scientist of WHO and an erstwhile Deputy Director General of Programmes. Dr. Swaminathan was replaced by Dr. Zsuzsanna Jakab, a Hungarian as the DDG in March 2019. And the ironic thing is that, Dr.Jakab’s appointment at DDG was questioned in an internal complaint at the WHO’s ethics office way back in May 2019. Dr.Jakab faces allegations of multiple harassments and additionally overshot her retirement age by two years for the position, as per standard WHO protocols. Although the case was closed then, for the larger interest of the planet and its human habitants, who is so prone to sickness and diseases, India must think. India has been doing pretty well in combating this pandemic by setting aside all other priorities, keeping in mind its humongous population and its complicated political arrangement. It is just hoped that India does not get swayed again by China into supporting the liked of Tedros.
My father always lectured me with a one liner; I guess most parents use the same often across the globe: “Health is Wealth.” Never imagined a small commonplace one liner advice would find such a massive catastrophic example. The world economy is taking a brunt and many able-minded economists think that this is just the tip of the iceberg. It is a shame that countries like the United States of America, who has witnessed the highest number of cases and deaths so far, is dying to switch on the green lights and declare that the worst is over and the economy should be opened up. It is also a matter of great hope and positivity that countries like India, who managed to control the spread and death in a comparative way, has decided to give human life a priority and economy a backseat. It is time we realize we can earn tomorrow if we live today. . The seemingly powerful nations were slow to react, more concerned with their wealth and hence left stranded. While the meek and humble ones have done considerable well in containing the spread and saving lives.
Tedros, no matter how hard he cries and chooses to play the racism card, will have to answer to the Gods and ghosts one day soon. No one can achieve glory by holding humanity to ransom. No empire built on the dead shall see eternity. Everyone who failed will pay the price.
At this time of peril, the thing that we love most TRAVEL is currently restrained. I guess it is nature asking a payback. Somewhere we, as humans have failed to keep our partnership with nature honest. Somehow we have failed to recognize the fact that we are just VULNERABLE human beings. And everywhere it’s the old, the sick and those already struggling will be affected the most. It’s time to forget our differences and we team up as the HUMAN RACE to face the crisis together. Things will be BETTER and until then, let us spread POSTIVITY and HOPE.