The World Health Organization (WHO) believes that humanity needs to prepare for a new pandemic. She sees this as one of the key topics for discussion at the re-launching Monday teleconference of the 73rd Annual World Health Assembly (November 9-14).
As the WHO notes in a statement released in Geneva ahead of the forum, the world community needs to “prepare for a new pandemic now.”
“We have seen over the past year that countries with robust health infrastructures for emergency preparedness have been able to act quickly to contain and control the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus,” the organization said.
At the 73rd Assembly, the first part of which was held in Geneva on May 18-19, it is planned to adopt a resolution “on strengthening preparation for urgent health situations”.
It also cites the need to ensure “adequate remuneration” for health professionals, the importance of training health personnel, and “strengthening the role of local health workers”.
According to the WHO, it should “ensure that all countries are better equipped to detect and respond to COVID-19 and other dangerous infectious diseases.” WHO believes that the global community can defeat COVID-19 through science and solidarity.
Although the coronavirus pandemic is a global crisis, “many states and cities have successfully prevented and controlled transmission using a comprehensive and evidence-based approach,” the statement said. WHO recalled in this regard that the world has united around a “plan to accelerate the development of vaccines, diagnostics, and therapeutics”.
According to WHO, the assembly is intended to reaffirm that the global community will not back down on key health challenges, including immunization, improving the health of the elderly, and combating tuberculosis and influenza. The forum will discuss a 10-year plan to combat “neglected” tropical diseases, as well as the problem of meningitis, epilepsy, and other neurological disorders, nutritional issues for children and mothers.
In a resolution adopted at the session on May 19, WHO members said that the world’s population should have “universal, equitable and timely access” to quality and affordable coronavirus remedies.
The document states that the assembly “recognizes the key leadership role of WHO and the fundamental role of the United Nations system in accelerating and coordinating a comprehensive global response to the COVID-19 pandemic.” The Assembly instructed the Director-General of WHO to initiate a “process of impartial, independent and comprehensive assessment” of WHO’s response to the pandemic “as soon as possible”.