April 7th is World Health Day

Are we prepared for the next pandemic?

04 April 2023

Blue image of a virus, DNA and a world map

This year's theme is 75 Years of Improving Public Health.

As we now move into the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, we acknowledge the vital role of public health in the fight against this virus and future viruses to come.

Officially more than six million lives have been lost, but unofficially this total is probably closer to 15 to 20 million as healthcare systems worldwide have struggled to cope with the impact of this new viral disease.

It is hard to imagine how an RNA virus could bring the world to its knees.

Although public health measures (such as masking, social distancing, hand washing, testing and tracing, and lockdowns with closures of businesses, schools, and public events) helped to stem the virus spread, they have also had a devastating effect on health, healthcare systems, education, and the economy.

The pandemic has accentuated deep inequities within our society and between countries. The pandemic has taken a heavier toll on poor countries versus rich countries and has had a greater impact on the disadvantaged and marginalized communities within our country.

A message from the World Health Organization report COVID-19: Make It The Last Pandemic has stated, “Our message for change is clear. No more pandemics. If we fail to take this goal seriously, we will condemn the world to successive catastrophes.”

NOW is the time to prepare

With the threat of pandemics with worse viruses, pandemic preparedness must take on the urgency of climate change.  Public health and pandemic preparedness must never fade from our memories or from funding support by government, industry or philanthropy.

We need to make COVID-19 the last great pandemic.