UN unveils global influenza strategy to prevent ‘real’ threat of pandemic

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH A seasonal flu shot being administered. The World Health Organization (WHO) unveiled a new global strategy to head of the “real” threat of pandemic on 11 March, 2019.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.


A new UN-led plan has been unveiled to tackle the estimated one billion cases of influenza which occur each year, and protect against the “real” threat of a global pandemic, the head of the organization’s health agency said on Monday.

Announcing the revised Global Influenza Strategy for 2019-2030, World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, warned that the “question is not if we will have another pandemic, but when”.

“The threat of pandemic influenza is ever-present,” he said, noting that the risk of a new influenza virus transmitting from animals to humans and potentially leading to a pandemic is “real”.

Influenza remains one of the world’s greatest public health challenges, according to the WHO, which says that the viral respiratory disease is responsible for between 290,000 and 650,000 related deaths a year.

Globalization, urbanization and mobility will result in the next pandemic moving faster and further, the agency maintains, while also underlining that those infected with the virus can face other health threats, such as heart attacks, strokes and severe pneumonia.

Outbreaks highlight pressures on poorer countries

The WHO’s 11-year plan focuses on the formulation of robust national programmes and has three goals: reducing seasonal influenza, minimizing the risk of transmission from animals to humans, and limiting the impact of a pandemic.

In addition, WHO is calling for better tools to prevent, detect, control and treat influenza, such as more efficient vaccines and anti-viral drugs.

Influenza outbreaks tend to emphasise the pressures faced by health systems in low and middle-income countries in particular, WHO says, insisting that investing in influenza-prevention measures will encourage a rapid response to many other infectious diseases.

An outbreak in Madagascar in 2002 had a 2.5 per cent fatality ratio, which is very similar to the 1918-1919 pandemic, WHO says, noting that the cost of pandemic preparedness globally is estimated at $4.5 billion a year, which is less than one per cent of the estimated cost needed to respond to a “medium-to-severe” pandemic.

“A severe pandemic can result in millions of deaths globally, with widespread social and economic effects, including a loss of national economic productivity and severe economic burdens on affected citizens and communities” WHO says.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Businesses are thriving, societies are not. Time for urgent change

Internet Forum: Prioritize technologies most needed for sustainable development

Digitalization is changing banking – These 3 trends will help shape its future

AI-driven companies need to be more diverse. Here’s why

Preventing the Pandemic of Mental Illness

Qualcomm to be the next target of EU antitrust regulators? China might be the answer

Dark spots on EU humanitarian aid spending

Two major EU projects falter; the Schengen Agreement now freezes and Eurozone fails to resolve the Greek enigma

The job description for a COVID-19 community health worker – and how this could fight US unemployment

‘Everything is still to be agreed’: informal talks between Parliament and Council on Rule of law conditionality continue

State aid: Commission approves €3.2 billion public support by seven Member States for a pan-European research and innovation project in all segments of the battery value chain

France and Germany can’t reach consensus regarding EU’s top jobs

At UN, youth activists press for bold action on climate emergency, vow to hold leaders accountable at the ballot box

Myanmar: Conflict resolution at ‘total standstill’, military commanders must answer for crimes against humanity

Ebola outbreak in DR Congo conflict zone ‘remains dangerous and unpredictable’ – UN chiefs

Trade wars won’t fix globalization. Here’s why

OECD and European Commission join forces to further support structural reforms in European countries

Amid Venezuela exodus, UN refugee envoy Angelina Jolie visits camps on Colombian border, appeals for humanity, more support

Nicaragua: MEPs condemn brutal repression and demand elections

Will Turkey abandon the refugee deal and risk losing a bonanza of money?

New UN rights report paints bleak picture in eastern DR Congo

An introduction to ‘Eco-Medical Literacy’ and its importance in shaping expert medical professionals

UN aid teams scramble to reach ‘most remote places’ cut off by Cyclone Kenneth in Mozambique

Sudan: Amidst deaths, injuries, imprisonments, UNICEF stresses children’s protection ‘at all times’

Taxation: Commission refers Spain to the Court for imposing disproportionate sanctions for failure to report assets held abroad

UN chief appeals for calm as Mali presidential election draws to a close

Strong EU trade enforcement rules enter into force

Back to the basics for the EU: Investment equals Growth

Nuclear testing has ‘disastrous consequences’ for people and planet, General Assembly told

FROM THE FIELD: One teen’s journey from refugee camp to US school principal

How the institutional response to COVID-19 can prepare us for climate change

How the world’s best teacher is changing lives in Africa

COVID-19 lets us see the world through a different lens

Lack of investment and ambition means Youth Guarantee not reaching potential

European Business Summit 2014: Sting Report, Day I

EU’s new environmental policy on biofuels impacts both the environment and the European citizen

The Shifting Rhythms of Harmonious China: Ancient, Modern & Eternal

US, Russia oblige each other in Syria and Ukraine selling off allies

Tech must embrace teamwork to transform the world

Just 24% of news sources are women. Here’s why that’s a problem

A Sting Exclusive: “Cybersecurity Act for safer European Industries and Consumers against cyberthreats”, by MEP Niebler

A top economist shares 3 ways leaders can help economies recover

Partner countries get €3bn in loans to prop up economies affected by pandemic

Budgetary Control Committee asks for stronger measures to protect EU spending

Schengen: new rules for temporary checks at national borders

Building a Climate-Resilient Future – A new EU Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change

Trailing the US-EU economic confrontation

Student-to-Tutor Ratio: a thought about the ideal model

The Sahel is engulfed by violence. Climate change, food insecurity and extremists are largely to blame

South Eurozone countries threatened by rising borrowing cost and expensive euro

Turbocharging scientific discovery: with bits, neurons, qubits – and collaboration

Why the UN is investigating poverty in the United Kingdom

EP leaders call for negotiations on upgraded Transparency Register to continue

A new kind of company is revolutionising Africa’s gig economy

UN agencies welcome regional road map to help integrate ‘continuing exodus of Venezuelans’

Brexit poses ‘particular risk’ to British people in poverty: UN independent expert

Women in video games: ‘Accept it, or don’t buy the game’

Opening – EP remembers Nelson Mandela and mourns attacks on Roma in Ukraine

UNESCO food and culture forum dishes up fresh serving of SDGs

With security improving in DR Congo’s Kasai, thousands of refugees head home from Angola

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s