WHO begins meet to reinforce global preparedness for next pandemic
   Date :28-May-2024

WHO begins meet to reinforce global  
 
 
 
 
GENEVA, 
 
 
 
THE World Health Organisation begins its annual meeting on Monday with Government Ministers and other top envoys hoping to reinforce global preparedness for the next pandemic in the devastating wake of COVID-19. But the most ambitious project, to adopt a pandemic “treaty”, has been shelved for now after 2 1/2 years of work failed to produce a draft that countries could unite behind by Friday, as originally hoped. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus insists it's not a “failure” and the World Health Assembly this week can still plot the way forward.
 
When diplomats, health officials and activists were still attempting to produce a draft treaty, he predicted the assembly could be one of the most significant in WHO's 76-year history. Not anymore. WHO officials and others have been eager to build on the momentum of concern from the coronavirus pandemic, with the risk that the more it fades into history, the less the public — and policymakers — will be interested in preparing for a future pandemic.
 
The basic premise is that pathogens that have no regard for national borders require a united response from all countries. But decision-makers have struggled to balance national interest with the call from WHO officials to think more broadly in the interest of humanity and equity. So Health Ministers will now have to take up the work and try to overcome deep-set differences, including how the world can share information on emerging pathogens and scarce resources like vaccines and masks when demand skyrockets.