Better preparation needed for future pandemics

09 August 2021 | Muriel Cozier

Scientific academies call for global surveillance network and Intergovernmental Convention.

The scientific academies of the world’s 20 leading economies, the S20, are calling on the G20 Governments to take immediate action to increase preparedness for future global pandemics. In a S20 Academies joint statement: Pandemic preparedness and the role of science, the S20 set out priorities required to shore up future global health security.

The three priorities set out by the S20 are: establishing a global surveillance network, promoting the distributed manufacture and delivery diagnostics, drugs , vaccines, medical supplies and equipment and launching an Intergovernmental  Convention.

Highlighting a number of actions, the signatories to the S20 Academies joint statement said that the G20 Governments should recognise the need to … ‘Promote research to discover new antimicrobials, promote the reduction in use and more rational deployment of existing antimicrobials, for both human treatment and animal breeding; and exclude antimicrobials from use in health humans and animals.’

The signatories also called for better public education saying: ‘Improve communication as well as health and scientific education among the public, addressing areas of misinformation, public scepticism and concern related to the required interventions necessary to control a pandemic.’

Supporting the launch of a an Intergovernmental Convention the signatories  added:  ‘The Intergovernmental Convention should provide a unique forum to discuss successes and failures that emerged from the experience of covid-19 and the need for incentives and mechanisms to reinforce the International Health Regulations that must become a sharper instrument for action and more timely reporting of  potential  outbreaks.’

Earlier this year, the science academies of the G7 countries called for greater cooperation on data-sharing in global health emergencies and creating a net-zero climate resilient future.

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