World Not Sufficiently Prepared For Global Pandemic, Expert Panel’s Report Warns

CNN: The risk of a global pandemic is growing — and the world isn’t ready, experts say
“The chances of a global pandemic are growing — and we are all dangerously under prepared, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). In a report published on Wednesday by a panel of international health experts and officials, they pointed to the 1918 influenza pandemic as an example of a global catastrophe. That killed as many as 50 million people — if a similar contagion happened today, it could kill up to 80 million people and wipe out 5% of the global economy…” (Yeung, 9/18).

Devex: New report warns of the consequences of inaction on preparedness
“…The call for the world to better prepare for the next outbreak and health emergency isn’t new. But Alex Ross, director of the secretariat of the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board, said that while there’s been a lot of talk on preparedness, not much has been done to date. ‘After every single major outbreak, and you go back to SARS, H5N1, H1N1, Ebola in 2014-2016, you see the same thing in many of the humanitarian disasters. A lot of money goes into response and then it simply disappears right afterwards,’ he told Devex…” (Ravelo, 9/18).

Fast Company: When (not if) a global pandemic hits, we will not be ready
“…If it’s next year, the world is not in good shape, as described in the [Global Preparedness Monitoring Board’s] first ‘Annual Report on Global Preparedness for Health Emergencies,’ released on September 17. The GPMB started this report after the West African Ebola outbreak that took place from 2014 to 2016. … Cochaired by Gro Harlem Brundtland, the former Prime Minister of Norway and former World Health Organization Director-General, and Elhadj As Sy, Secretary General of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, the board suggests seven steps world leaders must follow to prepare adequately for a health crisis, like the spread of a global respiratory pathogen…” (Klein, 9/17).

Reuters: World at risk of pandemics that could kill millions, panel warns
“…Calling on governments to ‘heed the lessons these outbreaks are teaching us’ and to ‘fix the roof before the rain comes’, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the WHO, said they should invest in strengthening health systems, boost funds for research into new technologies, improve coordination and rapid communication systems, and monitor progress continually…” (Kelland, 9/17).