How WHO Plans to Work on Global Health in 2021?
Written by Arundhathi Enamela
Edited by Payal Tyagi and Amy Gregory
WHO has witnessed major global effects of COVID-19. The organization was persistent in cautioning various countries about the impact of the pandemic. In 2020, there was a very special emphasis on wearing a mask, washing hands and social distancing. There was a constant battle against the virus, which also led to a public health emergency.
2020 also brought global distress, and it was a grief-stricken time for many. Fortunately, the discovery and successful trials of the COVID-19 vaccine brought some relief before the end of the year, and pharmaceutical companies began manufacturing it for global supply.
Now, WHO plans to make enduring efforts in improving public health in 2021, so let’s quickly find out about their plan of action:
1. Improve advanced preparation for health risks.
WHO plans to work with various countries to improve their preparation for pandemics and health emergencies. For this purpose, it is important to work together to make sure that everyone is safe and well-prepared.
2. Ensuring safety in medical care.
Safe tests, effective vaccines, and treatments are necessary in health systems and putting these in place is also one of the strategies proposed by WHO. Targets for ACT-Accelerator include the distribution of 2 billion vaccines, 245 million treatments, testing of 500 million people in low and middle-income countries and the strengthening of health systems needed to support them.
Moreover, health inequities such as income, gender, ethnicity, etc. will also be addressed in remote and rural areas and WHO will guide education, occupation and employment. Furthermore, on World Health Day, 7th April 2021, WHO will call for global action to address health inequities.
3. Monitor the health sector.
The pandemic has altered our lives and has exposed us to new experiences, including awareness around the significance of our health systems. With this in mind, WHO plans to work strenuously on three levels to strengthen their systems. In the first level, WHO will roll out new primary health care programmes such as pregnancy care, maternal care, immunization, and mother and child health care. A global campaign will be in force in 2021 as WHO has officially announced it as the International Year of Health and Care Workers.
4. Preparation for medicines.
Effective medicines for treating infectious diseases have always been essential and with this in view, WHO is dedicated to launching effective medicines to treat and manage new diseases. As a step forward, WHO is partnering with the Food and Agricultural Organization and World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) to discuss an action plan for tackling antimicrobial resistance and to put emergency plans in place.
5. Leadership in improving global health.
WHO proposes monitoring the latest scientific developments surrounding COVID-19, to make efforts to acquire health data from organizations and progress through health-related Sustainable Development Goals.
6. Work on communicable diseases.
WHO has effectively reduced polio, HIV, malaria and other diseases, but with COVID-19, there were significant setbacks. In 2021, WHO is revitalizing its efforts, not only to resume vaccine supplies for other diseases but also to intensify its efforts in the eradication of the diseases.
7. Promote mental health programs.
The organization witnessed a huge negative impact on mental health during COVID-19. To support public health, WHO will expand its efforts in building community-based mental health care programs, especially for those residing in conflicted areas and natural-disaster-affected areas.
8. Build better health.
The health sector is now at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19, and WHO has a new manifesto to address climate change, health, air pollution, and air quality. The organization is also working on the betterment of nutrition and food systems to ensure food safety globally.
9. Collaboration between nations.
As a key principle, WHO plans to encourage amicable collaboration among nations, institutions, communities, and individuals to close the communication gaps. There is a scope that viruses may thrive in some of these lacunas. Hence, to build new initiatives at a national level, WHO will strengthen partnerships both at the government and private sectors. Furthermore, the organization also plans to work through its scientific collaborations and the WHO Academy.
This structure outlined by WHO appears to be a comprehensive and beneficial approach to managing COVID-19 and preventing future pandemics. As things get better and progress is made, the global health system will certainly experience advancements in many aspects.