International Day of Epidemic Preparedness: December 27

The first International Day of Epidemic Preparedness was celebrated by the United Nations on December 27, 2020. The day is being celebrated to facilitate exchange of information, transmission of scientific knowledge and exchange best practices regionally, locally, and internationally. The day will help to prevent COVID-19 like situations. It will also help to equip the world fight against epidemic like scenarios. This is the first time the International Day of Epidemic Preparedness is marked by the United Nations.

Key Highlights

The COVID-19 has devastating impacts on human lives. There is an urgent need to build robust health system to protect the vulnerable. Currently, there lies big need in exchange of information, knowledge and scientific practices. This is essential to raise the level of preparedness to have the earliest and most adequate response to epidemic.

The World Health Organization has adopted One Health Approach in order to achieve this.

One Health Approach

It is an approach to design and implement policies, programmes and research in multiple sectors and work together to achieve better public health outcomes. The One Health Approach is currently working in the following areas:

  • Food Safety
  • Control of Zoonoses. Zoonoses are diseases that can spread between animals and humans such as rabies, flu and rift valley fever.
  • Combating Antibiotic resistance.

ACT Accelerator

The World Health Organization launched the Access to COVID Tools ACT Accelerator to develop vaccines and manage the pandemic. It is a coalition led by World Health Organization. The coalition has so far collected 3.4 billion USD. The collected funds are to be utilised for accelerating the COVID-19 vaccine development.

The main objective of the initiative is to develop 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines by the end of 2021.

Other initiatives

WHO has recently listed ten Global health issues. These issues have to be dealt within 2021 due to inadequacies of health system created by COVID-19.

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