Observation of first International Day of Epidemic Preparedness
World celebrates 1st International Day of Epidemic Preparedness
This International Day falls on the birthdate of Louis Pasteur, the French biologist responsible for ground-breaking work on vaccinations. In honouring his work, I salute today’s medical professionals, front-line personnel and essential workers who have carried the world through this emergency with such remarkable commitment. As we recover from the pandemic, let us resolve to build up our prevention capacities so that we are ready when the world faces the next outbreak.António Guterres
The first-ever International Day of Epidemic Preparedness is being observed on December 27 2020. To advocate the importance of cooperation and partnership amongst all the countries to fight against pandemics. COVID19 pandemic, perhaps the first in recent history, which has affected people across the globe. Maybe it has taken the world by surprise. It reminds humanity that despite all the progress and advancements being made in science and technology domains, a lot is to be achieved and work in progress. The observance of International Days offers an opportunity to bring awareness and involve all the stakeholders, most importantly, governments, civil society, academic institutes. The observance of “International Day of Epidemic Preparedness” is the latest entry into the list of days of UN observance.
Interestingly the counties took the lead in proposing the resolution to UN are Vietnam, Canada, Niger, Senegal, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Spain. December 27, the birthday of French biologist Louis Pasteur, who developed the method of pasteurization and the first vaccines for rabies and anthrax – as the official International Day of Epidemic Preparedness. Introducing the resolution to UN General Assembly, Vietnams ambassador to UN Dang Dinh Quy observed: “The pandemic caught us off guard, but it also has served as a wake-up call for improving our preparedness”.
While delivering Nelson Mandela Lecture, Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General UN observed: “COVID-19 is a human tragedy. But it has also created a generational opportunity, an opportunity to build back a more equal and sustainable world. The response to the pandemic, and to the widespread discontent that preceded it, must be based on a New Social Contract and a New Global Deal that create equal opportunities for all and respect the rights and freedoms of all”.
With the vaccine administration in Europe and the US, it appears that it is the beginning of the pandemic’s end. The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of investing in systems to prevent, detect and respond to infectious disease outbreaks. There is a need to raise awareness, exchange information, scientific knowledge, and best practices, ensure quality education, and run advocacy programs on epidemics.
The quest to find a vaccine and nations racing to find one is a lesson to be learnt. The scientific community and leadership of various nations demonstrated that humanity has developed the capability to tackle the problems. COVID pandemic has spared anyone, be it rich or poor, influenced, ordinary or whoever. The coronavirus has shown how little human beings are? Many lessons to be learnt. The world can learn these lessons without losing so many lives and suffering to many. The fact that the world can come out with a solution to the pandemic in such a short period gives hope to the world. Once the world moves on, leaving the pandemic behind, should contemplate how to find solutions to the problems being faced by poorer nations with diseases like TB. On a day, the world resolved to observe “International Day of Epidemic Preparedness” let the world resolve so that humanity need not encounter another pandemic.