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The US announces a plan with 50 countries to confront future pandemics

The US announces a plan with 50 countries to confront future pandemics

The president’s administration Joe Biden will help 50 countries identify and respond to diseases infectious diseases, with the aim of preventing pandemics such as COVID-19 that paralyzed the planet.

U.S. officials will offer support to countries — most of them in Africa and Asia — to develop better testing, surveillance, communication and preparedness for such outbreaks.

The strategy will help “prevent, detect and respond effectively to biological threats wherever they arise”, Biden said in a statement Tuesday.

The Global Health Security Strategy, the president said, aims to protect people around the world and “will make that USA “be stronger, safer and healthier than ever at this critical time.”

Four years after the coronavirus outbreak, countries have struggled to reach a global agreement on responses to future pandemics and prospects for a pandemic treaty signed by the 194 members of the World Health Organization (WHO) are shaky.

The U.S. program will rely on several government agencies, including the State Department, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Health and Human Services and the U.S. Agency for International Development to help countries hone their response to infectious diseases.

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, work has already begun. The United States government is helping the African country in its response to an outbreak of the mpox virus, including with vaccines. Mpox, a virus that is in the same family as the one that causes smallpox, creates painful skin lesions. Last year, the WHO declared mpox a global emergency, with more than 91,000 cases in 100 countries to date.

The White House on Tuesday published a website with the names of the countries participating in the program. Officials aim to have 100 countries sign up for the program by the end of the year.

The United States has dedicated billions of dollars to this effort. Biden, a Democrat, requested $1.2 billion for global health security efforts in his annual budget proposal to Congress.

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Source: Gestion

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