Almost 100 000 people are dying globally each week, and we have a chronic vaccine crisis., Dr Tedros said.
GENEVA, May 9 (The CONNECT) - As almost a lakh of people are dying globally each week, WHO Secretary General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said that making progress towards universal health coverage cannot just be a matter for ministries of health.
It takes an all-of-government approach, with leadership from the highest political levels, and close engagement with ministries of finance, Dr Tedros said in his virtual media briefing on Friday night (IST).
Dr Tedros expressed his distress that “globally, we are going in the wrong direction.” “Around the world, more households are spending an increasing proportion of their income on health. And more people are being exposed to poverty as a result of out-of-pocket health spending,” he pointed out.
BNC VIEW: These remarks assume significance as India reels under tremendous crisis arising out of the 2nd wave of COVID and is threatened with much more furious 3rd wave. The government at the Centre must lead by example on focusing on health, health and nothing but the health of the nation only when one can think of creating wealth. This also calls for an extraordinary statesmanship and inclusive federal approach, forgetting petty party and power politics. And, thank you Dr Tedros for reminding world of this ultimate truth.
Dr Tedros said: “We are in an unprecedented crisis that requires unprecedented action. Cases are at a record high, almost 100 000 people are dying globally each week, and we have a chronic vaccine crisis.”
The COVID-19 pandemic is a vivid demonstration that a health crisis is not just a health crisis as it can have dramatic consequences for livelihoods, businesses and economies, he said,
“The pandemic has shown that when health is at risk, everything is at risk,” Dr Tedros said and pointed out: “But when health is protected and promoted, individuals, families, communities, economies and nations can thrive.”
Universal health coverage is WHO’s top priority and all roads should lead to universal health coverage, he said.
“As we recover and rebuild, we have a unique moment to mobilize investments for healthier, more resilient, more productive and more sustainable societies. We need a new narrative that makes health for all the central goal of public policies on innovation, industry, employment, environment and more,” he said.
“Vaccines remain a vital tool. But right now, the volume and distribution of vaccines is insufficient to end the pandemic, without the sustained and tailored application of public health measures that we know work,” he said.