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WHO, WIPO and WTO to hold technical symposium on pandemic preparedness

The event will examine ways to build resilience to be better prepared for future pandemics


The World Health Organization (WHO), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) have announced they will hold a joint technical symposium on 'COVID-19 Pandemic: Response, Preparedness, Resilience' on 16 December.

The event, which will take place in hybrid form at WIPO’s headquarters, will 'examine key challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic experienced within the frameworks of health, trade and intellectual property and discuss the way forward to build resilience to be better prepared for future pandemics,’ WHO said in a statement.

The three directors-generals from the organisations will open the event and the keynote address will be delivered by Salim Abdool Karim, director of the centre for the Aids Programme of Research in South Africa and professor of global health at Columbia University, who will review developments made during the pandemic and options for a way forward from a scientific perspective.

After which, two panel discussions will see speakers share their experiences on select key challenges faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as R&D, scaling up and diversifying manufacturing, transfer of technology and know-how and equitable access to medical technologies.

Speakers will also be invited to review initiatives to respond and recover from the current health crisis and build resilience for future pandemics.

The symposium is the most recent of many actions taken by WHO to prepare for future pandemics. Last month, the organisation signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the International Association of National Public Health Institutes (IANPHI), outlining their joint efforts to strengthen public health functions and health emergency preparedness at a global, regional and country level.

Through this new agreement, WHO and IANPHI will work together to establish or strengthen the role of national institutes, particularly in emergency preparedness and response.

WHO also announced the official establishment of the new financial intermediary fund (FIF) for pandemic prevention, preparedness and response (PPR) by the FIF Governing Board in September.

The fund, which was established at the FIF’s inaugural meeting, is set to provide a ‘dedicated stream’ of additional, long-term financing to strengthen PPR capabilities in low- and middle-income countries and address ‘critical gaps’ through investments and technical support at the national, regional and global levels, WHO said in a statement.

Over $1.4bn in financial commitments were announced at the time of announcement and more are expected in the coming months.

Article by
Emily Kimber

15th November 2022

From: Research, Healthcare



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