The number of emerging infectious disease (EID) outbreaks has grown to several hundred per year since 2000. Recent diseases such as SARS, avian influenza, Ebola – and the enormous health, economic, and societal impacts of COVID-19 – have not yet solicited global unity on the importance of preventing pandemics rather than responding to outbreaks as they emerge. What will it take for world leaders, countries, organizations, and communities to understand that prevention is better than cure? The World Bank’s latest flagship report, “Putting Pandemics Behind Us: Investing in One Health to Reduce Risks of Emerging Infectious Diseases,” is a clarion call for the universal adoption of an integrated approach to sustainably balance and optimize the health of people, animals, and ecosystems.
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