Zee Media Bureau
Washington: The world is “dangerously unprepared” for deadly future pandemics like the Ebola outbreak that has killed thousands in West Africa, World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim has warned on Tuesday.
In a speech at Georgetown University in Washington, Kim said that a mix of international organizations like his own, governments, businesses, non-governmental groups and donors need to put more efforts into planning for future possible pandemics, “by building stronger health systems, improved surveillance and chains of supply and transportation, and fast-acting medical response teams.”
“The Ebola outbreak has been devastating in terms of lives lost and the loss of economic growth in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone,” Kim said .
“We need to make sure that we get to zero cases in this Ebola outbreak. We must learn the lessons from the Ebola outbreak because there is no doubt we will be faced with other pandemics in the years to come. At the same time, we need to prepare for future pandemics that could become far more deadly and infectious than what we have seen so far with Ebola,” he said.
Kim said that the World Bank Group has been working for several months with the World Health Organization, other United Nations agencies, academics, re-insurance company officials and others to work on a concept of developing a pandemic facility.
“This could work like insurance policies that people understand, like fire insurance,” Kim said.
Ebola surfaced in West Africa less than one year ago and has since killed nearly 9,000 people, almost all in the three west African countries of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone sparking a major health scare worldwide.
(With Agency inputs)