The world is not ready for pandemic flu, says WHO director

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By Euronews
The world is not ready for pandemic flu, says WHO director
Copyright  REUTERS/Pierre Albouy

The world is not ready for a flu pandemic, the Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, told Euronews' Nathalie Huet during the Sixth Replenishment Conference, organised by the Global Fund in Lyon, France.

In order to eradicate and eliminate such pandemics, "we have to invest in health systems", he said. "As we speak. "Half of the world's population don't have access to essential health services, and 100 million descend into poverty because of out-of-pocket payments."

Asked what could be the 'next Ebola', Adhanom Ghebreyesus said: "Ebola is actually lousy... It's not really as hard as airborne pandemics, like pandemic flu, which killed close to 100 million in 1917-1918."

Even today, he said, the world is not ready for pandemic flu. "We are very vulnerable", Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

"Countries with weak health systems impact the whole world", he added. "We are only as strong as the weakest link. We need to invest in preparedness, in solidarity, so that the whole world is prepared."

Watch Euronews' full interview by clicking on the player above.