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The Covid-19 crisis developed because the global health watchdog has become overly focused on lifestyle activism at the expense of its original mandate to fight infectious diseases. 

For the past 20 years the World Health Organisation (WHO) has been an institution searching for a role. Established immediately after World War 2 to fight the scourge of infectious diseases, it was able to bask in the glow of a mandate fulfilled when, in 1980, it declared that smallpox had been eradicated by vaccination (the last known case was identified in Somalia in 1977). Global health initiatives during this period also brought huge reductions in the prevalence of polio, leprosy, river blindness and yaws, though the campaign against malaria was a failure. ..

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