The pandemic threat to human security

Huffington Post Inc.
Photo by Flickr user Johan CC BY 2.0
Photo by Flickr user Johan CC BY 2.0

Just as the worst of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa seemed to be over, the mosquito-borne Zika virus has led to the declaration by WHO of a public health emergency of international concern following a steep rise in congenital malformations and neurological complications among new-born children of infected women, writes Robert Glasser, head of UNISDR in an opinion piece on Huffington Post.

Last year, UN Member States agreed to extend the scope of disaster risk management beyond the range of natural hazards which normally occupy national disaster management agencies, to cover biological threats including pandemics and epidemics.

The Commission on a Global Health Risk Framework for the Future has issued its final report. Commission Chairman Peter Sands points out that "While there are certainly gaps in our scientific defences, the bigger problem is that leaders at all levels have not been giving these threats anything close to the priority they demand."

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