We are happy to announce that the Alliance secretariat will be organizing Session 06 “The Cost of Inaction – the Importance of Pandemic Prevention at the Source” on October 16th at 14:00 CEST. The World Health Summit (WHS) is the unique international strategic forum for global health. Held annually in Berlin, it brings together stakeholders from politics, science, the private sector, and civil society from around the world to set the agenda for a healthier future. More information and online registration can be found here.
Session 06 – The Cost of Inaction – the Importance of Pandemic Prevention at the Source
The Need to Bolster Pandemic Prevention at the Source to Reduce Costs and Provide Co-Benefits to Climate and Biodiversity
Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022, CEST: 02:00 PM – 03:30 PM / UTC: 12:00 PM – 01:30 PM
Scientists calculate the cost of preventing further pandemics – via forest protection and improved wildlife trade regulation – over the next decade would amount to just 2% of the estimated financial damage caused by COVID-19. Such prevention strategies would also come with considerable co-benefits for climate and biodiversity. Research shows the proportion of pathogens crossing from one stage to the next, from pre-emergence to pandemic stage decreases as the costs for stopping those increases. In this inverse correlation: the earlier we prevent, the more cost-efficient it is.
Yet attention is currently focused on later-stage prevention, preparedness and response. According to WHO’s Cristina Romanelli, only 3% of current efforts to stop future pandemics goes to primary prevention (pre-spillover), while the remaining 97% is invested in secondary prevention and preparedness measures.
In the wake of immediate reactions to COVID-19 – most of which were taken under immense pressure to respond to and manage an ongoing crisis – many key actors, are now contemplating how to avoid and handle possible future pandemics more intelligently, efficiently and effectively. Considering this challenge, we ask: How can lessons learned from COVID-19 and primary prevention take a more prominent role in global responses to reduce the risk of future pandemics? What would such a policy path look like? And how might it incorporate regulations in line with WHO’s Manifesto (“Prescriptions for a healthy and green recovery from COVID-19”) that recognize the incredible opportunity for investments contributing to solving the triple, intersecting crises of health, climate and biodiversity?
Dr. Eckart von Hirschhausen
Physician, Science Journalist, Founder of Healthy Planet – Healthy People Foundation and World Health Summit Ambassador | Germany
Prof. Dr. Andrew Dobson
Princeton University | Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology | Professor | United States of America
Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) | State Secretary | Germany
Dr. Catherine Machalaba
EcoHealth Alliance | Senior Policy Advisor and Senior Scientist | United States of America
Dr. María Neira
World Health Organization (WHO) | Department of Environment, Climate Change and Health | Director
The whole session was recorded and can be found here: WS 06 – The Cost of Inaction – The Importance of Pandemic Prevention at the Source – YouTube
This session is organized by the International Alliance against Health Risks in Wildlife Trade.