MANILA, Philippines – With infectious diseases like COVID-19 posing a “clear and present threat,” the United Nations (UN) said the world must step up efforts to prevent deadly health crises.

In This year, as the 2nd International Epidemic Preparation Day was celebrated, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said that as diseases like COVID-19 spread like wildfire, “an outbreak anywhere is a potential pandemic”.

Guterres , who said COVID-19 won’t be the last pandemic, stated that an infectious disease can take over the world and marginalize health systems. “Let’s give this issue the focus, attention and investment it deserves,” he said.

Because of this, there is an urgent need to prepare for an infectious disease outbreak and a crisis like COVID-19 in which 203 million people worldwide were infected and 3.78 million people died.

With this aim, the United Nations and the World Health Organization declared December 27th to be International Day for Epidemic Preparation last year to highlight the need for resilient and strong health systems.

Guterres said in 2020 that health crises threaten to overwhelm already “overburdened” health systems, derail global resource chains and disproportionately destroy people’s livelihoods.

He stated that upcoming epidemics without increased readiness reduce the intensity and severity of previous outbreaks of In infectious diseases, even from COVID-19, which was first detected in China in 2019.

COVID-19, said Guterres, revealed “our failure to learn the lessons from recent health crises such as SARS, avian flu, Zika and Ebola “.

A type of coronavirus with symptoms such as fever, respiratory symptoms, cough, and malaise. This spreads through “respiratory droplets” and was first detected in China in 2002. It infected 8,098 and killed 774.

The “new flu” strain of H1N1 was first discovered in 2009 in Mexico and the United States. It infected 24 percent of the world’s population and killed 284,000 people.

In 2016, WHO declared that the recent association of Zika, a mosquito-borne infection, with microcephaly and neurological diseases was a public health emergency of international concern.

Ebola, which was “extremely fatal,” was first discovered in 2013 and Guinea. It has symptoms such as fever, pain, weakness, diarrhea, and vomiting. It infected 28,652 and killed 11,325.

With COVID-19 still a threat, Guterres said that while the world is responding to this health crisis, it needs to prepare for the next one, which means more focused on early detection and Investing in sophisticated response plans. The problem, however, is that the world is still “dangerously unprepared” to face the threats of the next health crisis, which could seriously affect people’s lives.

This emerged from the 2021 Global Health Security (GHS) Index, which assesses the “capacities” of 195 countries required to prevent, detect and respond to biological threats such as COVID-19.

The GHS-Index, published on December 9th, assesses the country’s health security and capacities using 37 indicators and six “pillars of health security” identified as follows:

That year, the average score was 38.9 out of 100, which is essentially almost the same as it was in 2019-40.2. “If you look at the overall results of the GHS index, no country reached the top level 5 of the GHS index,” it said.

Since no country was able to achieve a top score, the GHS index showed that there are significant gaps for all countries and across all GHS index pillars. She explained that the willingness in all countries is still very weak.

The overall value of prevention is 28.4 out of 100, making it the lowest score of the GHS Index Pillar 2021 – Detection and Reporting (32, 3); quick response (37.6); Health system (31.5); Obligations (47.8); and risk environment (55.8).

The GHS index showed that 70 percent of 195 countries have a lack of health capacity in clinics, hospitals and community centers. Only 25 percent – 49 countries – have published a new strategy for health workers in the past five years.

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The top 10 were the United States (75.9), Australia (71.1), Finland (70.9), Canada (69.8), Thailand (68.2), Slovenia (67.8 ), United Kingdom (67.2), Germany (65.5), South Korea (65.4) and Sweden (64.9).

While the Philippines, according to the GHS index, will be in 2021 improved by 2.2, they took 57th place with 45.7. The increase was related to the government’s commitment to share their data on COVID-19.

“Only 37 percent of countries have publicly committed to sharing surveillance data, and only five [Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore] have committed to sharing data specifically for COVID-19, “it said.

The GHS index, published by the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, says 155 out of 195 countries in the Failed to allocate national resources to strengthen epidemic threat response capacities in the past three years.

Of the 40 countries that have provided funding to address a health crisis, only two low-income countries have evidence of funding allocation. It also found 90 fell short of their financial contribution to WHO.

Guterres said the world needs to strengthen primary health care at the local level to prevent a breakdown, “to provide equitable access to life-saving measures such as vaccines for to ensure all people and achieve universal health care “.

He said that with global solidarity, every country would have a fighting chance to” stop infectious diseases in their pathways “.

You can find more news about the novel coronavirus here.
What you need to know about the coronavirus.

For more information on COVID-19 call the DOH hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

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