In a new report, the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board (GPMB), an independent body created by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank, has denounced that the coronavirus pandemic Has left in evidence how little the world has focused on preparing for these types of disasters.
The report was published when the global death toll from the new coronavirus is approaching a million, of the nearly 30 million known cases since COVID-19 first appeared in China late last year.
The Global Readiness Monitoring Board again calls for broad global cooperation and meaningful long-term funding for pandemic preparedness and prevention.
He urged the UN, the WHO and international financial institutions such as the World Bank to convene a summit on the global health emergency, with the aim of agreeing on an international framework for emergency preparedness and response.
The framework should include, among other things, a ‘mechanism’ to ensure ‘sustainable and predictable funding on the scale that is required’, as GPMB co-director Gro Harlem Brundtland notes:
The return on investment in pandemic preparedness is immense … Estimates of the cost of prevention and preparedness are measured in billions of dollars, but the cost of a pandemic is measured in trillions.
For the head of medical innovation of the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board (GPMB) of the WHO, Jeannette Vega, “the pandemic has demonstrated the fragility not only of our health systems, but of the global economy”, while increasing the “ social, health and economic inequalities ”among the population. In fact, losses caused by the coronavirus would help prevent pandemics in the next 500 years.
The current head of WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, agrees with this view in agreement and added that ‘spending on health and preparation is not charity. It’s an investment in our future. ‘
Not investing in preparation, he said, is’ like waiting for the plane to crash and then requesting more safety inspections; we wait until the city burns down and then we decide we need a fire department. ‘
Tedros stressed that COVID-19 ‘will not be the last pandemic, nor the last global health emergency’:
Every day that we stand by and do nothing is a day that brings us closer to the next global health emergency, be it from an outbreak of disease, climate change, or a natural or self-inflicted disaster.
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