Head of World Health Organization has warned the world to brace itself for a pandemic that is deadlier than Covid-19 at its World Health Assembly.
In a World Health Assembly meeting in Geneveva, Switzerland, Director General of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has cautioned the world of the emergence of a pandemic that is extremely dangerous than the wrecking Covid 19.
“threat of another variant emerging that causes new surges of disease and death remains,” he told the annual decision-making meeting of the WHO’s 194 member states.
“And the threat of another pathogen emerging with even deadlier potential remains.”
He reiterated the inevitability of the emergence of the pandemic and has admonished the globe to be ready to answer because we are the ones to make changes that has to be made.
“When the next pandemic comes knocking — and it will — we must be ready to answer decisively, collectively and equitably,” he added.
“We cannot kick this can down the road,” Tedros said in an address to the WHO’s member states. “If we do not make the changes that must be made, then who will? And if we do not make them now, then when?”
The WHO this month declared the COVID 19 pandemic no longer a public health emergency.
At the 76th meeting of the WHA, the World Health Organization launched the International Pathogen Surveillance Network (IPSN) which shall purposely aid identify and respond to emerging disease threats using genomics.
Scientist will be capable to recognize and track diseases and develop treatment and vaccines depending on the genetic information from bacteria, viruses and disease causing organisms. It will reveal how infectious or deadly a particular strain is, and how it spreads.
The network is intended to give every country access to pathogen genomic sequencing and analytics as part of its public health system, Tedros said at the launch.
Genomics and data analysis experts from around the world will be brought under one umbrella by the IPSN Secretariat, which shall be hosted by the WHO Hub for Pandemic and Epidemic Intelligence. It will also will not leave out multilateral organizations, governments,civil society, philanthropic foundations, academia and the private sector.
Victoria Fan, a senior fellow in global health at the Center for Global Development, a think tank, says Pathogens that risk potential pandemic will be tracked by the high quality data which shall necessitate a timely response by other countries
“Ensuring timely, accurate, quality data will remain the key challenge as countries reporting [a disease outbreak] face negative penalties,” she told SciDev.Net, citing as an example South Africans facing global travel bans after the country announced detection of the new Omicron strain of COVID-19 in late 2021.
“Increasing positive incentives for reporting such as paying countries to report, as well as reducing negative incentives such as trade or travel restrictions imposed by other countries may be helpful,” she added.
The World Health Assembly, will review the challenges and achievements of the WHO over the last subsequently, it will also deliberate an decide on the budget for the next two years, as well as addressing broader funding issues