In the wake of ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the need for improved and advanced public health services is quite felt across various economies of the world. In this context, the WHO Director- General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus recently called on the countries to commence greater investments in their respective public health services to make the world better prepared for future health crisis and pandemics.
As per credible reports, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for investing massively in systems to detect, prevent, and respond to infectious disease outbreaks. In his official address in the first ever International Day of Epidemic Preparedness, the WHO Chief quoted that with investments in public health, backed by an all-of-government, all-of-society, and one health approach, the countries can ensure that every person can inherit a safer, more sustainable, and more resilient world.
For the record, the first ever International Day of Epidemic Preparedness was held by the United Nations General Assembly to promote the significance of the prevention of, preparedness for, and partnership against epidemics like coronavirus infection. This day marks the birthday of Louis Pasteur, the French biologist responsible for his phenomenal work on vaccinations.
Speaking on the recent move, the UN Secretary General- Antonio Guterres- cited that with COVID-19 having claimed more than 1.7 million lives, paralyzed economies, upended societies and exposed the world’s weaknesses in the bluntest ways, the value of health emergency preparedness has largely been felt in the past 6 to 7 months, like never before.
He added that preparedness is a sound investment, costing relatively less than emergency expenditures and in this respect, societies need to have robust health systems including health coverage. Moreover, families and people need more social protection to combat and recover from any grade of epidemic.
He further said that there stands a need to pay higher attention to the encroachment of livestock and people into animal habitats as 75% of emerging human infectious diseases are zoonotic.