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World ‘woefully ill-prepared’ for future international health crises

A PACE committee has called for urgent exploration of new ways of facing international health crises – including an “empowered, well-governed and accountable” World Health Organisation (WHO) and efficient, equitable and resilient national health systems.

“The world is woefully ill-prepared to handle international public health emergencies,” said PACE’s Social Affairs Committee in a draft resolution, pointing to the huge impact of the recent H1N1, Ebola and Zika crises on essential human rights.

Among other things, the committee called for trained specialist “rapid response” teams, fast-track development of new medicines “in a spirit of solidarity”, more money for dealing with emergency pandemics, and better sharing of data and scientific knowledge.