Bill Gates, the co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), says governments around the world, including Nigeria, need to start preparing for the next pandemic.
Responding to a question asked, Gates said a country like Nigeria needs to invest more in primary healthcare to ensure it is well prepared for the next global pandemic.
The American billionaire said more people die in Nigeria from primary healthcare deficit every year than the total number of deaths in Africa from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I mean, the deaths from the deficits and primary health care are dramatically higher every year than the total deaths going on in Africa from this pandemic, and so I hope it causes everyone in society to look at these health issues,” Gates said.
“There should be close to 100% coverage of all the vaccines and you need to have those very functional primary health care systems because the number of lives you can save is absolutely huge.”
On Wednesday, Bill and Melinda Gates released their customary annual letter to talk about successes, challenges, and the state of the world in the new year.
For 2021, Gates said the COVID-19 pandemic might not be the world’s last pandemic, emphasizing that governments around the world need to start investing tens of billions of dollars in healthcare to stop the next pandemic.
“The unfortunate reality is that COVID‐19 might not be the last pandemic. We don’t know when the next one will strike, or whether it will be a flu, a coronavirus, or some new disease we’ve never seen before,” Gates said.
“But what we do know is that we can’t afford to be caught flat‐footed again. The threat of the next pandemic will always be hanging over our heads—unless the world takes steps to prevent it”.