Prevention is better than cure, says WHO

The WHO urged the world on Wednesday to invest without delay in health and prevention to prepare for the emergence of future pandemics, instead of chasing funding as it is currently the case with the new coronavirus.

“As we strive to respond to the COVID pandemic – 19, we must also redouble our efforts to prepare for the next one,” said the director general of WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, at a virtual press conference.

“We cannot continue to seek funds in a panic”, he added from Geneva, while WHO, NGOs and States are multiplying initiatives to raise the funds necessary for research , development, production and distribution of a vaccine, treatments and tests to stem the pandemic.

To this end, a global telethon organized Monday in Brussels by the European Commission, with the participation of Russia and India but without the United States, raised $ 7.4 billion.

The Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, however estimated that it would take “five times this amount” to develop and distribute the vaccine.

Preventing costs less

The world spends 7000 billion dollars on health every year, or almost 10% of world GDP, and yet more than five billion people will not have access to basic health services in 2030, namely access to carers, essential medicines and running water in hospitals, according to Mr. Tedros.

“Not only do these differences harm the health of individuals, families and communities, but they also jeopardize global security and economic development,” he warned, emphasizing the essential construction of '' a solid primary care infrastructure, as close as possible to the populations.

“Prevention is not just better than cure, it's also cheaper,” he said.

The COVID pandemic – 19, which caused more than 250 000 dead worldwide since its official appearance in late December in China, “highlighted the importance of building robust national and local health systems as a foundation for global health security and universal medical coverage,” said head of the UN health agency.

“If we have learned anything from COVID – 19, it is that investing in health today will save lives tomorrow. History will judge us not only on our ability to overcome this pandemic, but also on the lessons learned and the actions we will have taken, “he warned.

If the pandemic recedes in Western Europe, it continues to progress in many regions of the world, in particular where the health system is the most faulty, or even non-existent, recalled Mr. Tedros, citing in particularly Africa, South-East Asia and the Eastern Mediterranean.