Prof. dr. ir. Louise O. Fresco, president of Wageningen University & Research (WUR), was part of the Pan-European commission on Health and Sustainable Development in this latest WHO report.
If the Pan-European region is to be ready for the next pandemic, countries urgently need to reform healthcare, surveillance and governance. This is one of the main conclusions of a World Health Organization (WHO) report which reviewed the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic by 53 countries. According to the report, repeated warnings of a global pandemic from the scientific community were ignored, culminating in a world that was not prepared when the virus first emerged in late 2019.
In the WHO report, the concept of One Health is crucial: ‘it recognises the interconnection between people, animals, plants and their shared environment. When one part of One Health is at risk, the other pieces are also in danger. Human activities like deforestation, the trade and consumption of wildlife, and international travel, are thought to have led to the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 and facilitated its global spread. We, and our descendants, now face a precarious future unless we all take urgent action to correct course.’
Interested to know more about the outcomes of this report?
- Report: Drawing light from the pandemic: A new strategy for health and sustainable development (2021)
- Pan European Commission on Health and Sustainable Development
- Publications of the committee
- News item WHO report: Europe urgently needs integral reform of healthcare, surveillance and governance on wur.nl