The World Health Organization (WHO) has this week launched a Global Influenza Strategy for 2019-2030.
The goal of the new strategy is to enhance global and national pandemic preparedness to combat the ongoing threat of zoonotic influenza and improve seasonal influenza prevention and control in all countries.
To achieve this, the strategy places a significant focus on the development of better global tools, such as vaccines, antivirals and treatments that, it says, would benefit all countries and instil public confidence and uptake. Furthermore, the organisation calls for stronger country capacities for disease surveillance and response, prevention and control and preparedness.
“The ongoing risk of a new influenza virus transmitting from animals to humans and potentially causing a pandemic is real. The question is not if we will have another pandemic, but when. We must be vigilant and prepared, the cost of a major influenza outbreak will far outweigh the price of prevention,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
“With the partnerships and country-specific work, we have been doing over the years, the world is better prepared than ever before for the next big outbreak, but we are still not prepared enough,” said Dr Tedros.