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WHO Reports Insecurity and Poverty as Key Contributors to Infectious Diseases in 2023

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While acknowledging significant milestones achieved in global public health, Dr Ghebreyesus also underlined the challenges faced in 2023, including the declaration of an end to COVID-19 as a public health emergency of international concern and the approval of new vaccines for diseases such as malaria, dengue, and meningitis.

The Director-General also cited the elimination of neglected tropical diseases in multiple countries, the progress towards eradicating polio, and the introduction of the HPV vaccine in thirty more countries as significant advancements in global health.

However, Dr Ghebreyesus did not overlook the immense suffering and threats to health experienced in 2023, particularly highlighting the attacks in Gaza, which resulted in significant casualties and compromised healthcare infrastructure.

He also expressed concern about the resurgence of cholera, attributing it to insecurity, poverty, and inadequate access to clean water and hygiene in many countries.

Dr Ghebreyesus concluded by emphasizing that the world still has significant gaps in emergency preparedness and response, underscoring the need to enhance readiness to prevent future pandemics.

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