As the tumultuous year 2020 is coming to an end, World Health Organization (WHO) releases the list of global issues to tackle in the year 2021. This pandemic could slowly set back the global health progress achieved over the past two decades in fighting against infectious disease.
With this threat looming large, the world will have to work harder to restore our health systems in its previous state so that vaccine deliveries can be carried out efficiently.
WHO is aiming to bring together all the governments, and not just health sectors, in building strong healthy systems and population through their 10 steps strategy.
- Build global solidarity for worldwide health security: WHO will strive to encourage countries to come together and improve their preparedness for similar pandemics and health emergencies. Efforts will be taken to focus more on the urban settings, small island countries and conflict settings and a BioBank will be established to facilitate the development of safe and effective vaccines across the globe.
- Speed up access to Covid-19 tests, medicines and vaccines: Equitable access to vaccines by all countries and their safe distribution is the target. Continuing the work across the four pillars of Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator that is distributing 2 billion vaccines: 245 million treatments: establishing testing for 00 million people in low and middle-income countries, and strengthening the health systems needed to support them.
- Advance health for all: WHO will work with partners worldwide to help countries strengthen health systems so that they can respond to COVID-19 and deliver all the essential health services required to keep people safe and away from poverty.
- Tackling health inequalities: WHO will call for global action to address health inequities related to issues like income, gender, ethnicity, living in remote rural areas or disadvantaged urban areas, education, employment conditions, and disability.
- Provide global leadership on science and data: Monitoring and evaluation of all scientific developments around Covid-19 and other emergencies to provide the world with the best evidence-based recommendations.
- Revitalize effort to tackle communicable disease: WHO will help countries get vaccines for polio and other communicable diseases to the people who missed out during the pandemic.
- Combat drug resistance: Global monitoring and supporting of national action plans will continue to ensure antimicrobial resistance is included in the health system.
- Prevent and treat NCDs and mental health conditions: Since people with NCDs are highly vulnerable to Covid-19, ensuring the screening and treatment programmes for disease such as cancer, diabetes and heart diseases for all who need them will be a major focus in 2021 along with the campaign to help 100 million people quit tobacco.
- Build back better: Covid-19 has offered a chance o build back a better, greener and healthier world. WHO's manifesto for recovery from the virus also include goals to combat climate change and improve air quality.
- Act in solidarity: WHO in 2021 will prioritize in building greater solidarity between nations, institutions, communities and individuals and thereby bridge the gaps in the defences where the virus dwells.