WHO Calls on the World to Better Prepare for Future Pandemics

Written by Henrik Rothen

Jan.02 - 2024 1:08 PM CET

Photo: Shutterstock.com
Photo: Shutterstock.com
WHO Calls on the World to Better Prepare for Future Pandemics.

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"Immense suffering that could have been avoided." In his end-of-year video message, the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, emphasized that this year marked a turning point in the fight against major health problems, but there was also "immense suffering that could have been avoided."

After finally putting an end in 2023 to three years of "crisis, suffering, and loss" related to Covid, the world must properly prepare for future pandemics, he stated according to 20 Minutes.

An Agreement to Fill Pandemic Preparedness Gaps

In his end-of-year message, Tedros urged countries to conclude an "extraordinary" agreement to fill the gaps in pandemic preparedness.

"The year 2024 offers a unique opportunity to bridge these gaps," he said, reminding that countries are negotiating the very first global agreement on pandemic threats.

"The pandemic agreement is designed to fill gaps in collaboration, cooperation, and equity," he added. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus lifted the highest level of alert on the Covid-19 pandemic in May, considering it sufficiently under control.

The WHO also lifted the similar alert regarding mpox (long known as monkeypox) in May 2023, while the United Nations health agency approved new vaccines against malaria, dengue, and meningitis, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus recalled. In the meantime, Azerbaijan, Belize, and Tajikistan have been declared malaria-free.

A "Particularly Concerning" Resurgence of Cholera

Regarding the resurgence of cholera, with a record number of more than 40 epidemic outbreaks worldwide, he indicated that the situation is "particularly concerning."

He also welcomed that during the last COP, the impacts of climate change on health were highlighted.