The coronavirus crisis won’t be the last pandemic and attempts to improve human health are “doomed” without tackling climate change and animal welfare, the World Health Organization chief said.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, in a video message marking the first International Epidemic Preparation Day on Sunday, also condemned the “dangerously short-sighted” cycle of pelting outbreaks with cash but not doing anything to prepare for the next.
The WHO director general said it was time to learn the lessons from the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The world has been in a cycle of panic and neglect for too long,” he said.
“We throw money on one outbreak and when it’s over we forget about it and do nothing to prevent the next one. This is dangerously short-sighted and, frankly, difficult to understand.”
The Global Preparedness Monitoring Board’s first annual report of September 2019 on global preparedness for health emergencies, released a few months before the novel coronavirus outbreak, said the planet was absolutely unprepared for potentially devastating pandemics.
“History tells us this won’t be the last pandemic and epidemics are a fact of life,” Tedros said.
“The pandemic has highlighted the close links between human, animal and planet health,” he added.
“All efforts to improve human health are doomed to fail unless they address the critical human-animal interface and the existential threat of climate change that is making our earth less habitable,” he said.
World “upside down”
The novel coronavirus has killed at least 1.75 million people and nearly 80 million cases have been recorded since the outbreak in China last December. This comes from a list of official sources compiled by AFP.
“In the past 12 months our world has been turned upside down. The effects of the pandemic go well beyond the disease itself and have far-reaching consequences for societies and economies,” said Tedros.
However, the former Ethiopian health minister said the coronavirus crisis should not have come as a surprise given the repeated warnings.
“We all need to learn the lessons the pandemic is teaching us,” he said.
Tedros said all countries should invest in preparedness capacity to prevent, detect and mitigate emergencies of all kinds, and called for increased primary health care.
The chief of the United Nations Health Department said that investing in public health “can ensure that our children and their children inherit a safer, more resilient and sustainable world“.
International Epidemic Preparation Day was called for by the United Nations General Assembly to promote the importance of prevention, preparedness and partnership in fighting epidemics.
(This story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)