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Global Health Is the Best Investment We Can Make

The pandemic and the fallout from Russia's war in Ukraine have reversed progress in the fight against many diseases, decreased life expectancy, lowered basic immunization coverage, and increased psychosocial and mental health challenges around the world. Addressing these problems will take both money and new partnerships.

LUXEMBOURG – No one could have predicted the extent to which COVID-19 would erode decades of progress in global public health. And the world is still reeling from the shock. But we have the opportunity – and the duty – to learn the right lessons to mitigate the ongoing pandemic, while minimizing the risk of similar events in the future.

Though there are new threats on the horizon, we must not allow our focus to move away from COVID-19. The pandemic highlighted significant gaps in our global health systems. To leave them unaddressed would be bad public policy and bad economics, because there can never be a trade-off between health and economic development. COVID-19 has demonstrated that health is central to development, prosperity, and national security.

The pandemic’s disruption of health services has resulted in spikes in HIV, tuberculosis, malaria, and many non-communicable diseases – both unreported cases and deaths. These are diseases that the world had previously made great gains toward controlling. Making matters worse, the pandemic has led to decreased life expectancy, lower basic immunization coverage, and increased psychosocial and mental-health challenges.

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