Preventing the Next Health Crisis Depends on Health Workers. We Need 18 Million More

Over 115,000 health and care workers died during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a physician who’s cared for patients with COVID-19, malaria and Ebola, I’ve seen too many colleagues make the ultimate sacrifice on the frontlines. I’m not surprised experts responding to TIME’s survey ranked bolstering the world’s public health workforce, particularly in rural and remote regions, as one of the top five of nearly 50 strategies to prepare for the next pandemic. But I’m concerned they ranked this the least feasible strategy amongst the top five. Experts ranked high the need for new systems to raise alarms for emerging public health crises. But alarms don’t ring themselves, health workers do. Experts ranked high the need for new vaccine research, financing, and manufacturing. But vaccines don’t deliver themselves, health workers do. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] Prior to COVID-19, the world faced its worst health worker shortage in history; we need 18 million more by the end of this decade. And with doctors and nurses concentrated in cities, the gap is widest in remote rural communities, which has life-or-death consequences for all of us. Around 75% of new infectious diseases are zoonotic—pathogens that leap from animals to humans—and often emerge in rural areas like tropical forests where humans are in close contact with animals they hunt, eat, buy, and sell. Malaria, Zika, HIV/AIDS, Ebola, and some coronaviruses...
Source: TIME: Health - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Uncategorized COVID-19 health Magazine Source Type: news

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