The best time to prevent the next pandemic

REPORT ON “The best time to prevent the next pandemic is now: countries join voices for better emergency preparedness”


COVID-19 will not be the world’s last health emergency and there is an urgent need for sustainable health emergency preparedness to deal with the next one.
This dialogue was held at a UNGA virtual event ‘Sustainable preparedness for health security and resilience: Adopting a whole-of-society approach and breaking the “panic-then-forget” cycle’, organized by France, Indonesia and Finland in collaboration with WHO.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General said:
“The world is not prepared for a pandemic. COVID-19 has laid bare the truth: when the time came, the world was still not ready.  This will not be the last pandemic, nor the last global health emergency. But with the right political and financial investments now, we can advance health security, prevent and mitigate future pandemics, and protect our future and the future of generations to come,”

It was agreed upon that there is an urgent need to leverage the response to COVID-19 to build, maintain and strengthen sustainable public health capacities for emergency preparedness.

Great emphasis was laid upon not only multi-sectoral collaboration, but international partnership.

The International Association of National Public Health Institutes, and the European Commission’s Directorate General for Development and Cooperation emphasized the important role played by partner organizations in country and global preparedness and financing.

“Local governments must not only be provided with the means to implement policies. They also need to be included in the international debates that eventually shape solutions to the humanity’s most pressing challenges,” said Sami Kanaan, mayor of Geneva.

Closing the event, Dr Michael Ryan, Executive Director, WHO Health Emergencies Programme commented:
“We cannot, cannot, cannot let the world forget because the next one may not be anything but the worst one.”