The World health Organization (WHO), says embedding research at the heart of pandemic response can help to end the acute phase of the current COVID-19 pandemic, and to provide protection for future epidemics and pandemics.
The Director General of the World Health Organisation, Dr.
Tedros Ghebreyesus said it is important that research efforts focus not only on the current variants of concern but also to understand how the virus is evolving.
Speaking at the COVID-19 Global research & innovation forum on Thursday, the WHO Boss said “it is critical that we come together to support and develop the capacity of research institutions and researchers in low- and middle-income countries.
“WHO and partners have maintained a network of global researchers and experts that have produced a Global Research Roadmap to focus research efforts on COVID-19, debate research priorities, develop methods and critically appraise emerging evidence.
“This effort involves hundreds of virtual scientific consultations with thousands of scientists around the world.
“These global research efforts have filled in many of the key knowledge gaps around COVID-19 identified in the roadmap, including the epidemiological behaviour of the virus, supporting the development of safe and effective vaccines in record time, and evaluating potential therapeutics,” he said.
He noted that the rapid scale-up and coordination of research was facilitated by work over years by WHO’s Research and Development Blueprint for Epidemics, which was established after the West African Ebola epidemic to identify and stimulate research and development for high-risk pathogens.
The WHO chief added that WHO’s global coordination and support for the world’s leading scientists and researchers from almost every country does not always grab the media headlines.
“But it has been key in underpinning the important initiatives and breakthroughs that will be presented today.
“These processes and platforms will be the foundation for the research response for future epidemics, pandemics, and other global health emergencies,” he said.
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