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A year ago, the World Health Assembly (WHA) met virtually for the first time since the creation of the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1948. Last year’s WHA adopted a resolution asking states to intensify action to fight COVID-19. Yet a year on, there have been 3.7 million deaths reported, with the real number estimated as more than 7 million. From May 24-31, 2021, the 74th WHA (WHA74) was again held virtually amidst this historic pandemic. The WHA created a member states working group on strengthening WHO preparedness for and response to health emergencies to make recommendations to next year’s WHA. Here are 9 steps to end this pandemic and prevent the next one:

  1. Prevent zoonotic spillovers
  2. Rapid detection and response
  3. Biosecurity and biosafety Oversight
  4. Empower the WHO
  5. Elevate Pandemic Response to High Political Levels
  6. Embed Equity in Preparation and Response
  7. Suspend Intellectual Property Rights
  8. Create an International Pandemic Financing Facility
  9. Support Health Workers

Publication Citation

The Journal of the American Medical Association Health Forum, published online June 10, 2021, at 1-4.