February 18, 2024
Global Urgency: WHO Highlights Need for Pandemic Treaty
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Global Urgency: WHO Highlights Need for Pandemic Treaty

Global Urgency: WHO Highlights Need for Pandemic Treaty

Global Urgency: WHO Highlights Need for Pandemic Treaty

Amid growing concerns, the World Health Organisation (WHO) issued a stark warning about the potential emergence of ‘Disease X,’ a mysterious pathogen that could surpass COVID-19 in lethality. WHO’s Director-General, Tedros Ghebreyesus, urged nations to unite and sign a ‘pandemic treaty’ as a collaborative effort to combat this unforeseen threat.

Preparing for the Unknown: Disease X Unveiled

‘Disease X’ serves as a placeholder for an unidentified pathogen that could trigger a global emergency. Tedros Ghebreyesus emphasized the importance of anticipating new threats, citing history as a teacher that necessitates proactive preparedness. He stressed the need for a system capable of expanding resources swiftly, recalling the challenges faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, where lives could have been saved with better management.

WHO’s Proactive Measures: Fund Establishment and Technology Transfer Hub

Tedros Ghebreyesus disclosed WHO’s ongoing initiatives to fortify global preparedness. Measures include the establishment of a pandemic fund and the creation of a ‘technology transfer hub’ in South Africa. Addressing the equity issue, he highlighted efforts to combat vaccine hoarding by establishing an mRNA technology transfer hub in South Africa, aiming to enhance local production.

Unveiling the Enigma: What is Disease X?

While ‘Disease X’ isn’t a specific ailment, it represents a potential virus comparable to COVID-19, lacking known treatments. Categorized alongside notorious diseases like Ebola and Zika, Disease X signifies an unknown pathogen with epidemic potential. Coined by WHO in 2018, it underscores the need to prepare for a severe international epidemic caused by an unidentified agent. The challenge lies in the vast number of potential pathogens worldwide against limited resources for research and development, as highlighted in a WHO report from November 2022.

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