Pandemic Preparedness as a Global Challenge – Keynote: Michael Kremer

Not only the fair distribution of vaccines against the coronavirus is currently a central challenge of the international community. Also, the establishment of effective and resilient public health systems including skilled personnel, disease prevention and monitoring, and access to treatments remain important for global health and pandemic preparedness. The Covid-19 pandemic has shown the aggravating impact that a global health emergency can have on inequalities, e.g. in terms of gender or education. Hence, pandemic preparedness is not only important to cope with health emergencies but also necessary to prevent social emergencies around the globe. Especially for low-income countries, this is difficult to achieve. Among the reasons for these difficulties is that research and development of treatments and vaccines is not adequately funded, the health infrastructure is insufficient, adequately skilled personnel is lacking, or the supplies are not affordable. For developed nations, pandemic preparedness does not end at their borders, but they need to take global responsibility. What could we learn from Covid-19 for global preparedness? How can R&D be incentivized? How can our trading system be made resilient to ensure quick and adequate response? Should the WHO have a stronger role and how can it be strengthened? How to ensure coordinated action at the global, national and local levels?

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