Who Warns Of The Next Lethal Pandemic: "it Could Happen
Health

WHO warns of the next lethal pandemic: “It could happen at any time”

The World Health Organization says that the catastrophe caused by Covid-19 could have been avoided and asks to maintain a continuous response capacity.

A nurse vaccinates a woman in Barcelona.

The world needs to have a strong financing mechanism that allows it to face future pandemics and that, in an emergency, can disburse between 50,000 and 100,000 million dollars in the short term. The creation of this fund was recommended this Wednesday by the Independent Pandemic Preparedness and Response Panel, made up of experts and personalities who for eight months examined the failures in the management of the current covid crisis commissioned by the World Health Organization. Health (WHO). The panel, in its final report, states emphatically that “the current system failed to protect us of the covid-19 pandemic.” “And, if we don’t act to change it now, it will not protect us from the next pandemic threat that could happen at any time“said the co-chair of the panel and former Prime Minister of New Zealand, Helen Clark, when presenting the report. Among the recommendations made is the creation of an international mechanism that would mobilize between 5,000 and 10,000 million dollars per year (for a period of 10 to 15 years) to maintain a continuous response capacity against possible pandemics.

In the event of a pandemic declaration, it should be able to mobilize 10 times such amounts, advancing what the countries commit to contribute so as not to waste time that results in the spread of the pandemic agent, be it a virus or another type of pathogen. That mechanism would be independent of the WHO and supervised by the World Council on Health Threats, which it also intends to create with the aim of maintaining a high political commitment to pandemic preparedness and response.

The economic calculation that is made is simple and consists of compare such amounts with the seven trillion dollars that the world lost only in 2020 due to the health crisis, to which must be added the economic impact during this year and the following. One of the problems previously identified in the response to the covid-19 pandemic was that countries demanded a lot from the WHO, but they denied him sufficient authority and funding to provide them with the expected answers.

In this regard, the panel proposes ending the model that allows countries to make conditional contributions to the WHO, for example to finance a particular health area, and that States increase their mandatory contributions to this Organization. Currently, two-thirds of the WHO budget is covered by voluntary contributions of the countries.

Likewise, it is proposed that the mandate of the Secretary General of the WHO, its head, be seven years, but without the possibility of re-election, although this would not be applied retroactively. For this reason, the current secretary general, the Ethiopian Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, whose first five-year term ends in 2022, could opt for a second.