As some countries are beginning to emerge from the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic and others are experiencing their worst surges yet, one thing we have learned—the hard way—is that the health of people and the health of economies and societies are inextricably linked. Investing in health is the only way we will be able to build back to a safer and more equitable world.
Ending this pandemic, preventing the next: building together a healthier, safer and fairer world is the theme of this year’s World Health Assembly, the 74th annual meeting of the World Health Organizations decision-making body, attended by delegations from all WHO member states. And preventing the next pandemic can’t be our only goal: The world needs a bolder, more equitable approach to public health, and that means building stronger health systems.
As we look toward recovery, we must recognize that health is woven into all aspects of our policies and our societies. Whether the issue is air quality, transport, food, tobacco, drug use, or infectious disease, we have to think more holistically about the interconnections that form the building blocks of health, and work toward policies promote health and well-being for all.
—José Luis Castro, President and CEO Vital Strategies
What to Watch
On the sidelines of the World Health Assembly, Vital Strategies and NCD Alliance held a VitalTalks on proven policies that governments can adopt to tilt away from ill health and showcase examples of leadership on NCD prevention.
The Future of Global Health Security: Dr. Tom Frieden and the Prevent Epidemics team at Resolve to Save Lives discuss on lessons from past outbreaks, preparedness successes and the need to invest and prioritize funding to fight the next pandemic.