WHO Launches Global Network To Detect, Prevent Disease Threats
The World Health Organisation (WHO) and partners are launching a global network to help protect people from infectious disease threats through the power of pathogen genomics.
In a statement, it said that the International Pathogen Surveillance Network (IPSN) would provide a platform to connect countries and regions, improving systems for collecting and analysing samples.
It said they would use the data to drive public health decision-making and sharing that information more broadly.
“Pathogen genomics analyses the genetic code of viruses, bacteria and other disease-causing organisms to understand how infectious they are, how deadly they are, and how they spread.
” With this information, scientists and public health officials can identify and track diseases to prevent and respond to outbreaks as part of a broader disease surveillance system, and to develop treatments and vaccines,” it said.
The statement said that the network, with a secretariat hosted by the WHO Hub for Pandemic and Epidemic Intelligence, brings together experts worldwide at the cutting-edge of genomics and data analytics, from governments and stakeholders
According to it, all the experts share a common goal to detect and respond to disease threats before they become epidemics and pandemics, and to optimize routine disease surveillance.
Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, said that the goal of the new network was ambitious, but it can also play a vital role in health security.
Ghebreyesus said it would give every country access to pathogen genomic sequencing and analytics as part of its public health system.
“As was so clearly demonstrated to us during the COVID-19 pandemic, the world is stronger when it stands together to fight shared health threats
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