The Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has called on world leaders to set out a strategy to meet present and future challenges. WHO warns that the threat of an “emerging pathogen with even more deadly potential” remains and calls on the international community to prepare for the possibility of future pandemics. According to Ghebreyesus, it is crucial to be prepared to respond decisively, collectively, and equitably when the next pandemic arrives, as he considers its occurrence inevitable. WHO stresses that pandemics are not the only threat facing humanity, assures that new pathogens and pandemics will emerge, and urges world leaders to devise a strategy to address these challenges.
It also highlights the high toll the pandemic has taken on mental health. Both WHO employees and health care workers around the world have experienced significant levels of stress and burnout due to the unprecedented challenges the pandemic has posed. WHO also warns of the threat of new emerging variants of COVID-19, which could lead to new waves of illness and death.
In this regard, it emphasizes that while the pandemic has diverted attention from other goals, it is necessary to remember that the Sustainable Development Goals remain a priority. It is urged that these goals be pursued with the same urgency and determination with which the pandemic has been addressed, as they are considered fundamental to ensuring a sustainable future.
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