The last few years have been rough on everyone; yet we have learned so much from these years, including everything we could have been doing differently. After SARS, Avian Influenza, Swine Flu, and Zika, global health experts warned that future pandemics were inevitable, and that global preparedness was lacking. If we learned anything from Covid-19, it is to heed those warnings and to be more proactive regarding planning and global health concerns.
To learn from our mistakes, we must first be more aware of the available resources. In particular, we should be paying attention to global health resources. Plenty of underutilized resources are currently available, with several more on the way. These resources include:
Pandemic Preparedness Plans
The WHO has been developing a worldwide pandemic preparedness plan for years. More accurately, they've been working to improve their plan, as recent events have shown us the shortcomings of previous pandemic plans.
The WHO solicits all countries to participate in the planning phase to make this plan more effective. They also need to tackle humanitarian settings that exacerbated the spread of COVID-19.
This resource is essential for anyone trying to understand the long-term effects of COVID-19. As the name implies, it is also the go-to resource for COVID-19 and planning.
HealthMap: Global Disease Alert Map
This pandemic has taught the value of disease surveillance. In order to take effective steps to curb the spread of disease, including quarantines, contact restrictions, travel bans and masking, we must be able to track diseases. Resources such as HealthMap provide a great resource for tracking the spread of disease. HealthMap compiles the data from several sources, making a clear path of infectious diseases. It also follows the effect of these diseases on overall human and animal health.
HealthMap is critical in tracking disease transmission patterns. If we learn these patterns, we can make more efficient plans to prevent the spreading of diseases such as COVID-19.
Another resource that should be used now, and could be adapted for future pandemics is the ACT-Accelerator for short. As the name suggests, the ACT-Accelerator is a global collaboration to produce and deploy all necessary tools for dealing with COVID-19, including test kits, vaccines, and treatment supplies.
The ACT-Accelerator is comprised of several global health organizations and philanthropists. The WHO, UNICEF, PAHO, World Bank, Wellcome Trust, Unitaid, The Global Fund, and FIND are all involved in the process, along with many others.
The Act-Accelerator program is critical in reducing the spread of COVID-19. Thanks to this program, vital supplies are dispersed more rapidly. It can serve as a pattern for future pandemic responses.
Roadmap for Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs)
The Roadmap for Neglected Tropical Diseases is centered around the prevention, control, and elimination/eradication of certain diseases, including zoonotic diseases. These diseases could be eradicated with education and additional efforts.
This is a ten-year plan with three pillars. Those pillars are accelerating programmatic action, intensifying cross-cutting approaches, and changing operating models and culture. The ultimate goal should be completed by 2030.
World health organizations believe that infectious diseases cause many unnecessary deaths. The World Bank has identified that the burden of disease from Neglected Tropical Diseases is high, causing human suffering and significant economic losses.
This roadmap is critical for dealing with NTDs - but it may also become a playbook for other transmissible diseases. Global health organizations should note progress and be willing to implement effective tactics.
Think Global Health
Think Global Health is a website hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations. The site aims to examine health changes and how they affect economies, societies, and more. This is an excellent resource if you want to understand the domino effect of world health.
Think Global Health is a helpful tool for those trying to understand the more significant effects of any single illness. This is because the organization takes a broader look at complications, studying how it affects every area of life. It also takes social, economic, and demographic trends into account.
It will take collective will to remember the lessons of this pandemic and devote resources to stop the next pandemic before it happens.
About the Creator
At the biotechnology firm, Seek Labs, which has offices the U.S, and does business globally, Craig Mosman works as the Vice President of Business Development. Learn more by visiting his website and socials.