WHO to “strengthen preparedness” for future crises

Monegasque delegates took their places at the latest virtual conference held by the World Health Organisation (WHO), where the member states agreed to improve their readiness for health emergencies so future Covid-style crises don’t catch them off guard.
The 73rd World Health Assembly (WHA) hosted by the World Health Organisation took place virtually this year with 194 member states participating in a six day conference that ran from 9th to 14th November.
The conference finalised the review of its agenda as it stood back in February and adopted a draft resolution that “renews the commitment to better prepare for health emergencies such as Covid-19, through ‘full’ compliance with the International Health Regulations.”
The member states, therefore, have agreed to dedicate domestic investment and public funds to emergency preparedness plans, as well as vowing to streamline decision-making processes to improve institutional capacity and public health infrastructure.
This new resolution comes in direct response to the near-universal lack of readiness experienced at the onset of the Covid crisis. The idea is that every nation must be ever-vigilant so that when situations like the pandemic arise again, there will be better, swifter reactions.
The WHO strategy for Covid-19, and for any future infectious disease control, is a five-part plan starting with mobilisation of the communities to ensure compliance and participation in preventing the spread of a disease. The next step is to control the spread by isolating clusters and providing appropriate track and trace methods, followed by suppression through social distancing and other infection prevention methods. At the same time, clinical care will be provided to help those already ill, keeping in mind that front line workers and the vulnerable must be particularly protected. The final step is to work together to develop therapies and vaccines that are accessible on a global scale.
Health workers were particularly honoured during the opening ceremony of the conference, and it was agreed that 2021 was to be designated as the International Year of Health and Care Workers.
The Monegasque delegation was led by Carole Lanteri, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the Mission of Monaco to the United Nations Office at Geneva.
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