During the 76th World Health Assembly in Geneva, Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), emphasized the importance of countries being prepared for future pandemics.
Dr. Ghebreyesus stated that while the COVID-19 pandemic may no longer be classified as a global health emergency, it still poses a significant global health threat. He further highlighted the possibility of new variants emerging, leading to fresh waves of disease and fatalities.
The ongoing assembly aims to address various global health challenges, including eradicating polio and proactively addressing the potential risks and consequences of future pandemics.
“And the threat of another pathogen emerging with even deadlier potential remains. And pandemics are far from the only threat we face. In a world of overlapping and converging crises, an effective architecture for health emergency preparedness and response must address emergencies of all kinds.
“This year’s High-Level Meeting on Pandemic Preparedness and Response is a valuable opportunity for leaders to chart a clear path forward towards that future.
“We cannot kick this can down the road. If we do not make the changes that must be made, then who will? And if we do not make them now, then when? When the next pandemic comes knocking – and it will – we must be ready to answer decisively, collectively, and equitably,” he said.