According to the Financial Times, Bill Gates, the Microsoft founder and philanthropist, has called for a global response team to help with pathogen detection.
Gates has been vocal about the long delays in the vaccine development process and the lack of equity in vaccine distribution in the world. He has also been right about how the COVID-19 epidemic will play out and has been using aggressive strategies in his new book.
How to prevent the next pandemic?
Gates has urged nations to increase their expenditure on health and improve coordination between them in order to mitigate global health hazards. Speaking to the Financial Times during the publication of this new book, Gates said countries may lose sight of the health issue that hasn''t yet concluded, owing to recent developments such as the Ukrainian conflict.
Gates had stated that Omicron might be the most common component of the pandemic, and recently told FT that he might sound like the voice of deception; however, there was still possibility that the current pandemic might throw up a new variant, which was more transmissive and even more fatal.
Gates has proposed a global epidemic response and mobilization (GERM) campaign, which consists of international experts, from computer modelers to epidemiologists. The team would identify global threats and strengthen coordination among countries to combat these threats.
Led by World Health Organization (WHO)
Gates'' proposal for this initiative comes after his statement that the WHO had less than ten full-time workers on epidemic readiness, and even those who were distracted by other activities. The global health agency has faced a flaw in its handling of the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic and is failing to respond sufficiently to the effects of the virus''s spread.
Gates maintained that an initiative like GERM must be overseen by the WHO. Gates told FT that a "top-notch" GERM team might cost $1 billion to operate every year, but the amount was minimal compared to the benefit it offered. Gates also called for an increase in budgetary allocation for health in national budgets as well as contribution to the WHO''s functioning.