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‘2024 offers a unique opportunity’: WHO urges world to better prepare for future pandemics

By finally ending three years of Covid-related “crisis, suffering and loss” in 2023, the world must prepare adequately for future pandemics, the head of the WHO said on Tuesday.

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the year was a turning point in the fight against serious health problems, but also that there was “immense and avoidable suffering.”

In his end-of-year message, Tedros called for increased humanitarian efforts in the Gaza Strip and urged countries to reach a “remarkable” agreement to fill preparedness gaps in the event of a future pandemic.

“I’m glad to see life is back to normal.”

“2024 offers a unique opportunity to close these gaps,” he said, recalling that countries are negotiating the first-ever global agreement on pandemic threats. “The pandemic agreement is designed to address gaps in cooperation, cooperation and equity,” he added.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus raised the highest level of alarm over the Covid-19 pandemic in May, believing it was now well under control. “This was a turning point for the world after three years of crisis, suffering and loss of people around the world. I am glad to see that life has returned to normal,” the head of WHO emphasized in his video message.

The highest alert level has also been raised for monkeypox

The WHO also lifted a similar warning for smallpox (long called monkeypox) in May 2023, while the UN health agency approved new vaccines against malaria, dengue fever and meningitis, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus recalled. Meanwhile, Azerbaijan, Belize and Tajikistan were declared malaria-free.

The WHO chief called the Hamas attacks on Israel “barbaric,” which “provoked the devastating attack on the Gaza Strip.” He added that “relief and humanitarian efforts fall far short of meeting the needs of the people of Gaza,” repeating the WHO’s call for an immediate ceasefire.

Regarding the resurgence of cholera, with a record number of more than 40 epidemic outbreaks around the world, he noted that the situation is “particularly alarming.”

Source: Le Parisien

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