Tribune. How much is our health worth? If we judge by the indications that the Covid-19 leaves us, clearly not enough. This sad reality has been ignored for too long – and the whole world can now contemplate the price.
Successive warnings to strengthen the international community’s defenses against pandemics due to new pathogens have received only window dressing, leaving the world horribly ill-prepared to resist the onslaught of suffering that was looming almost two years ago.
The price to pay for this unpreparedness is very high and continues to grow: more than 5 million people have lost their lives and this figure is increasing, while millions more have been infected.
Many of the world’s most seriously ill are unable to get the care they need in hospitals under strain. Add to this the long-lasting Covid-19 and unfathomable psychological anguish, so many people have been bruised by the disease, inflicting pain that has taken many forms but, above all, that could have been avoided.
This lack of investment in pandemic preparedness and response and more generally in the health of all has been the most glaring symptom of the wavering way in which the international community has approached investment in public health for decades. world and in universal health coverage.
In the fall of 2021, G20 leaders meeting in Rome failed to fill the gaps in funding – despite its reinforcement – allocated to the action needed to protect the world from pandemics, and more particularly the funding that would allow the ‘World Health Organization (WHO) to carry out its broad and expanding mission: to be the leader in global health.
We are pleased that world leaders have recognized that the health of the world and that of the WHO are linked and that the objective of securing its sustainable funding is not only urgent, but also realistic and achievable in 2022.
WHO’s funding problems are far from new and date back several decades, leaving their mark. They are symptomatic of a general failure to invest sufficiently in global public health. This must stop without further delay.
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