The Global Preparedness Management Board has released its reported titled World in Disorder which has a harsh assessment of the global COVID-19 response, warning that the world cannot afford to be unprepared again when the next pandemic hits.
The Board called for five urgent actions to be taken to bring order out of the catastrophe and chaos currently facing the world: responsible leadership; engaged citizenship; strong and agile systems for health security; sustained investment; and the robust global governance of preparedness.
In their foreword, Gro Harlem Brundtland, Co-Chair Former Prime Minister, Norway, and Former Director-General, World Health Organization as well as Elhadj As Sy Co-Chair Chair, Kofi Annan Foundation Board, and Former Secretary-General, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies came out quite frank on the grim situation on the ground.
” Never before has the world been so clearly forewarned of the dangers of a devastating pandemic, nor previously had the knowledge, resources and technologies to deal with such a threat. Yet, never before has the world witnessed a pandemic of such widespread and destructive social and economic impact.
The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed a collective failure to take pandemic prevention, preparedness and response seriously and prioritize it accordingly. It has demonstrated the fragility of highly interconnected economies and social systems, and the fragility of trust.
It has exploited and exacerbated the fissures within societies and among nations. It has exploited inequalities, reminding us in no uncertain terms that there is no health security without social security. COVID-19 has taken advantage of a world in disorder,” they said.
Covid-19, according to the report, has presented various lessons and these are, that political leadership makes the difference, that preparedness is not only what governments do to protect their people, it is also what people do to protect each other, that the impact of pandemics goes far beyond their immediate health effects and that the current measures of preparedness are not predictive.
The GPMB calls for urgent actions to strengthen the current response to COVID-19 and better prepare the world for future pandemics and health emergencies; to bring order out of catastrophe and chaos.
Responsible leadership Strong and agile national and global systems for global health security Engaged citizenship Sustained investment in prevention and preparedness, commensurate with the scale of a pandemic threat Robust global governance of preparedness for health emergencies.