How the region is prepared to deal with a pandemic like COVID-19 by Dr Poonam Khetrapal, Regional Director, WHO

On this day in 2015, a major earthquake shook Nepal. Though thousands of people were killed and injured, several thousands of lives were saved because the country was prepared, had invested in emergency preparedness for its hospitals to remain functional and health workers to continue to fulfill their duties when disaster strikes. This event was a lesson in emergency preparedness.

Five years later, today we are dealing with a global public health emergency, this time caused by a virus. A yet another reminder and a lesson for our health and other systems to be prepared, to be resilient, and remain functional to save lives when such disasters strike! Prioritizing strengthening emergency risk management, over the years countries in WHO South-East Asia Region have been building capacities, putting mechanisms in place and reiterating firm resolve for a robust response to any kind of public health emergency. Today as we fight  COVID19, it is time to demonstrate our resolve, capacities and resilience to overcome the pandemic.


(The views expressed in this article are by Dr Poonam Khetrapal, Regional Director, WHO. doesn’t own any responsibility for it.)

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