By Lara Adejoro
The Director General of the World Health Organisation, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus has urged countries to be prepared for the next pandemic.
Dr Ghebreyesus said this on Monday at the ongoing 76th World Health Assembly in Geneva, which sets to address global health challenges including future pandemics, and eradicating polio, among others.
He said the end of COVID-19 as a global health emergency is not the end of COVID-19 as a global health threat.
According to him, the threat of another variant emerging that causes new surges of disease and death remains.
“And the threat of another pathogen emerging with even deadlier potential remains. And pandemics are far from the only threat we face. In a world of overlapping and converging crises, an effective architecture for health emergency preparedness and response must address emergencies of all kinds.
“This year’s High-Level Meeting on Pandemic Preparedness and Response is a valuable opportunity for leaders to chart a clear path forward towards that future.
“We cannot kick this can down the road. If we do not make the changes that must be made, then who will? And if we do not make them now, then when? When the next pandemic comes knocking – and it will – we must be ready to answer decisively, collectively and equitably,” he said.