The World Health Organisation (WHO) has advised that the world should prepare for the next pandemic together and now. The advice is part of the WHO’s three messages to an unprecedented virtual session of the 75th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA75), which opened on Tuesday, September 15, in New York, United States.
The global health body said: “COVID-19 has shown us that the world was woefully unprepared – despite the many warning signs and warnings.
“A year ago at UNGA, the independent Global Preparedness Monitoring Board (GPMB) warned of the threat of a pandemic, calling on global leaders to take urgent, united action to prepare.
“Earlier this week, the GPMB issued its 2020 report “World in disorder”. The report looks at a world disorientated by COVID-19, suffering from a lack of leadership and timely action. It calls for a renewed commitment to multilateralism and to WHO.
“At UNGA, WHO will call on all citizens and leaders to support the five actions outlined in the GPMB 2020 report: responsible leadership; engaged citizenship; strong and agile systems for health security; sustained investment and robust global governance of preparedness. Our actions today will define our collective future.”
The WHO urged world leaders to support the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT)-Accelerator, a unique international collaboration to speedy the development, production and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines globally, while strengthening health systems.
According to the WHO, pooling investments globally, the ACT-Accelerator provides a chance for all countries to access a greater number of tools more quickly, sharing the risks and costs together.
The UN apex health body said the ACT-Accelerator needed $35 billion to fast track the development, procurement and distribution of two billion vaccine doses, 245 million treatments and 500 million tests over the next year.
It said, “equitable access enables all countries to achieve full recovery by supporting all economic sectors, protecting the global value chain, and securing long-term global growth.”