Charting a resilient future: learning from COVID-19 for a safer tomorrow


Washington, DC, Septembre 25, 2023 (PAHO) – Efforts to improve pandemic prevention, preparedness and response, were top of the agenda today at a briefing session held on the sidelines of the Pan-American Health Organization’s (PAHO) 60th Directing Council.

During the session, PAHO presented its follow-up plan to an external evaluation of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as recommendations to enable countries to better prepare and respond to future health emergencies. These included strengthening PAHO’s governance and funding mechanisms during crises and capitalizing on new technologies and approaches adopted during the pandemic.

We will only learn the lessons of the pandemic, “if we make the corresponding adjustments and interventions” to enable us “to respond to health crises more effectively,” and “enhance our ability to anticipate challenges, innovate, plan, and lead with resolve and resilience,” Dr Jarbas Barbosa, PAHO’s Director said during the event.

During the session, delegates were also briefed on progress of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB) instituted at the World Health Assembly in December 2021 to conceptualize and negotiate a global pandemic instrument. Delegates also heard about advances towards amendments to reinforce the International Health Regulations.

Briefing Session: Applying COVID-19 Lessons on Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness, and Response

“Member States have a one in a generation opportunity to approve a new instrument and the amendments to the IHR (2005) to set the basis of a safer world for all humanity,” Dr. Barbosa said.

The efforts of both the INB and IHR amendments will serve as foundations to pave the way towards a world less vulnerable to health crises.