EPHA response to WHO public hearings on a new international instrument on pandemic preparedness and response

Which was solicit public opinion support the work of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB) in the development and negotiation of an international instrument aimed at strengthening prevention, preparedness and response to the pandemic. In their first round of public hearings on April 12 and 13, 2022, they asked the question, “What substantive elements do you think should be included in a new international instrument on pandemic preparedness and response? EPHA submitted the following written response:

The European Public Health Alliance welcomes this opportunity to engage on the new international instrument for pandemic preparedness and response, which should reflect lessons learned during COVID-19 while looking to the future:

  1. Meaningful participation of civil society should be ensured during treaty negotiations and within the framework of the treaty.
  2. Transparency (in line with 2019 World Health Assembly resolution WHA72.8) and accountability must be ensured.
  3. Solidarity and equity, including equitable access to medical countermeasures, must be made possible.
  4. The treaty should address antimicrobial resistance (AMR), a global health issue associated with approximately 4.95 million dead in the world per year, endangering many health interventions.

the The COVID-19 pandemic has already affected RAM, including antimicrobial use, adherence to infection control and prevention, and continuity of health care delivery for non-communicable diseases, the full impact of which is not yet fully known. The treaty should ensure responsible access, education and use of medicines, as well as the sharing of information and resources, so that health systems are better equipped to manage cross-border health threats. As the RAM is already widely considered as a “silent pandemic”, the treaty should include specific measures of antimicrobial resistance such as setting targets and performance indicators and supporting countries to develop and implement national action plans on antimicrobial resistance. Measures must focus on prevention and use a One Health approach, as microbial diseases can spread to humans at all stages of the supply chain, with animals being more likely to spread when raised in a poor environment, with poor nutrition, or under stress.

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