The world is not prepared for the next pandemic.
Based on a Global Health Index, researchers have concluded that the entire world remains unprepared for the next pandemic, and most countries are underprepared even for small disease outbreaks, researchers reported Wednesday. Not a single country scored well on the Global Health Security index -- a measure of preparedness for various health emergencies and problems put together by the Nuclear Threat Initiative and the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security at the Bloomberg School of Public Health.
CNN reports, "The 2021 GHS Index continues to show that all countries still lack some critical capacities, which hinders their ability to respond effectively to COVID-19 and reduces their preparedness for future epidemic and pandemic threats. The average country score in 2021 was 38.9 out of 100, which is essentially unchanged from 2019," the report reads. The highest overall score was just under 76 -- achieved by the United States.
The report found that 155 out of the 195 countries in the survey have failed to invest in preparing for a pandemic or epidemic within the past three years, and 70% have failed to invest in clinics, hospitals and community health centers.
So what can you do to be prepared for future pandemics?
For basic sanitation and hygiene items, try to have bleach, soap, hand sanitizer, antibacterial wipes, face masks, laundry detergent, and garbage bags on hand. You'll also want to have some basic first aid supplies at home, like an inexpensive digital thermometer, gloves, and bandages.
Be sure to think about the non-food items you regularly purchase at the pharmacy or grocery store and try to have at least two weeks' worth on hand. This includes toilet paper, toothpaste, tissues, batteries for hearing aids, and contact lens solution.
Although it's hard to imagine going through another pandemic, knowing we can be prepared is great.