WHO and Red Cross urge action from world leaders on pandemic preparedness
The secretary-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), Gro Harlem Brundtland, and International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Elhadj As Sy, are urging world leaders to avert the next pandemic. Today, no country's authorities have fully funded or implemented International Health Regulations, the foremost international health security agreement that all countries have signed.
The authors of the opinion piece state that the world is unprepared if a fast-moving airborne pandemic should occur. The world's leaders are not doing enough to make vaccines, diagnostics, and medications available at the necessary scale. Should a pandemic break out, there are not efficient funds to avert serious social harm.
The two authors urge state leaders to think further into the future and increase funding at the local, national, and international levels needed to strengthen health systems, improve our response capacity in crises, and counteract outbreaks.