WHO launches PRET to prepare world for pandemics
Polity & Governance
5th May, 2023
The World Health Organization (WHO) launched ‘PRET’, a new initiative to be better prepared for future outbreaks of a similar scale and devastation as the COVID-19 pandemic.
- PRET stands for Preparedness and Resilience for Emerging Threats.
- An epidemic is an outbreak of a disease in a particular location.
- A pandemic is an outbreak of a disease which spreads to and occurs in many different geographic areas at the same time.
- Endemic diseases are established and circulating regularly in populations. Some endemic diseases such as influenza can have surges in transmission or have epidemics at certain times.
- A pathogen is an organism which causes a disease to its host, including but not limited to viruses.
- Aim: The Initiative is aimed at providing “guidance on integrated planning for responding to any respiratory pathogen such as influenza or coronaviruses”.
- Focus on first module: While the current focus of PRET will be on respiratory viruses — in the backdrop of the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak, possible threat of an avian influenza outbreak — work is already underway to assess what should be the next group of pathogens to be mitigated under this initiative.
- PRET incorporates the latest tools and approaches for shared learning and collective action established during the COVID-19 pandemic and other recent public health emergencies.