The World Health Organization (WHO) shared three key messages with member states ahead of its 73rd World Health Assembly next week: Covid-19 can be beaten, don’t backslide on other critical health goals and prepare for the next pandemic.
First, we can beat Covid-19 with science, solutions and solidarity,” said WHO in a news release on Thursday.
This year, the annual assembly will meet virtually -- resuming on November 9.
It can be beaten
The WHO said although this is a global crisis, “many countries and cities have successfully prevented or controlled transmission with a comprehensive, evidence-based approach.”
“For the first time, the world has rallied behind a plan to accelerate the development of the vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics we need, and to ensure they are available to all countries on the basis of equity,” the organization said.
Maintain focus on other health goals
It added that there must not be backsliding on critical health goals.
“The Covid-19 pandemic is a sobering reminder that health is the foundation of social, economic and political stability,” it said, adding that this pandemic is a reminder of the importance of the organization’s overall efforts to increase health coverage and better protect populations from health emergencies.
The statement praised member states for implementing initiatives to expand immunizations and to tackle things like cervical cancer and eye care.
The WHO will discuss a 10-year-plan for addressing neglected tropical diseases as well as efforts to address other issues, including meningitis and maternal, infant and young child nutrition.
Prepare for next pandemic now
Thirdly, the release added that member states "must prepare for the next pandemic now.”
“We’ve seen this past year that countries with robust health emergency preparedness infrastructure have been able to act quickly to contain and control the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus,” it said.
In the upcoming session, the WHO will consider a draft resolution that strengthens member states preparedness for future health emergencies.
“This resolution calls on the global health community to ensure that all countries are better equipped to detect and respond to cases of Covid-19 and other dangerous infectious diseases,” WHO said.