Frontline workers in ICU during pandemic

RCSI expert contributes to the WHO’s pandemic preparedness consultation

  • Society

Head of the Department of International Health and Tropical Medicine at RCSI Professor Sam McConkey has submitted expert insight to the World Health Organisation’s (WHO's) taskforce facilitating a new international accord on pandemic prevention, preparedness and response.

The WHO Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB) was established in December 2021 by the World Health Assembly, WHO’s most senior decision-making body incorporating all 194 member states.

The INB is responsible for drafting a convention, agreement or other instrument to be applied under the Constitution of the World Health Organisation to safeguard and strengthen the international community’s response to future pandemics.

The INB has launched a series of public hearings to help achieve this. Broadcast online in September, the latest hearing sought informed opinions on international issues that should be addressed to better protect against potential outbreaks in the future. Participants were asked to submit a short video incorporating experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic into their response.

Contributing to the consultation, Professor Sam McConkey draws on his time on the frontlines of the pandemic in Ireland, as well as his extensive research into infectious diseases and international health.

In his submission, which is available on the WHO website, he highlights the need for trust and transparent collaboration on a global scale.

His final message promoting social equity and equality reflects RCSI’s commitment to sustainable development and fostering improvement in health and well-being worldwide.

You can find more about International Health and Tropical Medicine at RCSI here.

Prof. Samuel McConkey is Head of the Department of International Health and Tropical Medicine at RCSI and President of the Infectious Disease Society of Ireland.


RCSI is committed to achieving a better and more sustainable future through the UN Sustainable Development Goals.