World must be ready for the next pandemic, say UN high-ranking officials l

6 months ago Web Desk 0

“This first observance of the International Day of Epidemic Preparedness falls at the end of a year in which a scenario many had feared came tragically true … As we strive to control and recover from the current pandemic, we must think about the next,” Secretary-General António Guterres said in a message.

 

He also highlighted the need for strong health systems and social protection, support for communities on the frontlines, and technical cooperation for countries.

 

“Across this work, science must be our guide. Solidarity and coordination are crucial, within and among countries; no one is safe unless all of us are safe,” the Secretary-General added.

 

Mr. Guterres reportedly also honored medical professionals, front-line personnel and essential workers globally for their “remarkable commitment” in face of the coronavirus pandemic.

 

“As we recover from the pandemic, let us resolve to build up our prevention capacities so that we are ready when the world faces the next outbreak,” he urged.

 

In a separate message, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the UN World Health Organization (WHO) highlighted the importance of a “One Health Approach”, which integrates human health, animal health and plant health, as well as environmental factors.

 

This is all the more important given that 75 percent of new and emerging human infectious diseases are zoonotic, caused by germs that spread between animals and people.

 

“Any efforts to improve human health are doomed unless they address the critical interface between human and animals,” said Dr. Tedros.

 

The head of WHO also urged countries to invest in preparedness capacity to prevent, detect and mitigate emergencies, and reiterated the importance of strong primary health systems as the foundation of universal health coverage as well as the “eyes and ears” of health systems everywhere.

 

“True preparedness is not just a job of the health sector, it requires an all-of-government and all-of-society approach,” he added.

 

The International Day of Epidemic Preparedness, to be marked on December 27 annually, was proclaimed earlier this month by the General Assembly, to advocate the importance of the prevention of, preparedness for, and partnership against epidemics.

 

Source: Asia Plus