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Epidemic preparedness: WHO Director-General calls for worldwide effort

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Posted: Monday, December 28, 2020. 10:34 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: Yesterday, Sunday, was the first-ever International Day of Epidemic Preparedness. 

While COVID-19 has turned the world upside down, World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement, it was no surprise: “Over the years, there have been many reports, reviews and recommendations all saying the same thing: the world is not prepared for a pandemic.”

As such, he continued, there are lessons to be learned: all countries must invest in preparedness capacities to detect and mitigate either natural or man-made health epidemics; boost primary health care at the building block of the universal system; and take a ‘One Health’ approach involving governments, science, and the public, addressing as well climate change and the links between humans and other animals.

“History tells us that COVID-19 will not be the last pandemic,” said Ghebreyesus, adding, “We must commit to end the cycle of panic and neglect and invest in preparedness now so that our children inherit a safer, more sustainable world.”

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