The head of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, issued a warning that the world must prepare for the next pandemic, which could be “even more deadly” than the COVID-19 pandemic, at a time when the COVID cases are somewhat stabilizing around the world.
“The end of COVID-19 as a global health emergency is not the end of COVID-19 as a global health threat,” said Mr Tedros.
“The threat of another variant emerging causing new increases in disease and death remains, and the threat of another pathogen emerging with even deadlier potential remains.”
This was said by the head of the WHO when he presented his report to the 76th World Health Assembly.
Furthermore, in the face of overlapping and converging crises, “pandemics are far from the only threat we face”, he added, stressing the need for effective global mechanisms that address and respond to emergencies of all kinds.
“When the next pandemic comes knocking – and it will – we must be ready to respond decisively, collectively and fairly,” he advised.
Tedros said that COVID-19 had significant implications for health-related goals under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), which have a 2030 deadline.
The pandemic also affected progress towards the triple billion target announced at the 2017 World Health Assembly.
The five-year initiative calls for ensuring one billion more people have universal health coverage, one billion more are better protected from health emergencies, and another billion enjoy better health and well-being.
“The pandemic has thrown us off course, but it has shown us why the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) must remain our north star and why we must pursue them with the same urgency and determination with which we faced the pandemic,” said he. .