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WHO Reorganizes a Bit

The World Health Organization has announced that it would be reorganizing in a bid to be more streamlined, the New York Times reports.

But the Times says many of the changes seem "merely bureaucratic." For instance, it says one change is to establish a digital health strategy department, while another is to select a chief scientist and an assistant director general for emergency preparedness.

But Reuters says WHO is re-focusing on primary care rather than "moonshot projects" like eliminating disease. Still, it adds that by establishing a chief scientist, the agency will also try to stay up-to-date on new technologies like gene editing.

The health agency is also setting up training academies, including one in Lyon, to prepare workers for health emergencies, Reuters reports. It further plans to rotate its staff to the agency's various locations, the Times says. This, it adds, would be similar to what UNICEF does, which it says leads workers to be more in tune with regional issues.

"Right now, the vast majority of people in the Brazzaville office are African, and those in Geneva are mostly white males with gray hair like myself," Bernhard Schwartländer, the chef de cabinet, tells the Times. "Diversity makes our work better."