|A mass COVID-19 vaccination drive in Đà Nẵng City in 2021. — VNA/VNS Photo Văn Dũng
NEW YORK — On the International Day of Epidemic Preparedness (December 27), designated by the United Nations (UN) following Việt Nam's initiative, UN Secretary-General António Guterres sent a message calling on all countries to stand alongside the largest global organisation’s efforts to ensure the world is equipped and ready to take on future health challenges.
Recalling heavy impacts of the pandemic on various aspects, the official stressed that COVID-19 will not be the last epidemic or pandemic humanity faces, so the international community must “heed the harsh lessons of COVID-19 and make bold investments in pandemic preparedness, prevention and response”.
“We need better surveillance to detect and monitor viruses with epidemic potential," Guterres said.
"We need more resilient health systems supported by universal health coverage. And we need a health workforce that is well-trained, well-equipped and well-paid.
“We also need equitable access to vaccines, treatments, diagnostics and life-saving technology for all countries,” he added.
Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus sent a video message to Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính, in which he thanked Việt Nam for taking the lead in proposing the establishment of the International Day for Disease Prevention and Control, and appreciated the country's commitments, efforts, leading role and cooperation for a healthier and safer world.
Congratulating the Vietnamese Government and people for successfully controlling the pandemic, the WHO leader called on countries to take necessary measures to prepare, detect and respond quickly to future epidemics and pandemics. He affirmed that in the coming years, his organisation will give priority to supporting countries to improve their health capacity at the national and local levels.
The UN General Assembly approved Việt Nam's initiative with a resolution proclaiming December 27 as the International Day of Epidemic Preparedness during its 75th session on December 7, 2020. The resolution was also co-sponsored by 112 nations. — VNS