Topic: 2023-Pandemic Preparedness and Prevention
Delegate Name: Jennasee Hollingworth
As seen with the recent COVID-19 pandemic, the level of strength and efficiency within a nation’s public health infrastructure, disease surveillance, and overall government response has a massive impact on a pandemic’s damage. Strength and efficiency in these systems are especially important due to scientists’ belief that COVID-19 is just the beginning of an increase in widespread outbreaks. The development of the COVID-19 vaccine was unprecedentedly quick, but its distribution methods left many people without access. Division within nations and distrust of authorities also kept many people from getting vaccinated, prolonging the rapid spread of the disease. The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that the estimated death toll of the COVID-19 pandemic is almost 7 million people, 3 million in the year 2020 alone. As infectious outbreaks become more common, our global response must be streamlined.
Denmark experienced a relatively low rate of infection and death from COVID-19 compared to nations with similar populations and governments and also became one of the first European nations to come out of lockdown. The most obvious reason for this is the speed and intensity of Denmark’s regulations, as our government made decisions very swiftly. Denmark was one of the first European countries to close borders, close major venues, and ban large gatherings. Next, Denmark’s healthcare system is very well organized and accessible to all. High-quality healthcare is a core value of Denmark, which made treating COVID-19 patients extremely efficient there compared to other nations. Patients were easily isolated, there was a sufficient number of healthcare workers, and the system was effectively reorganized as the pandemic progressed. Another important factor in the decreased severity of the pandemic in Denmark is the trust that Danish citizens have in their government and health authorities. A majority of the population started following the government’s sudden regulations before they were even put into action officially; they started adapting as soon as regulations were announced. In the event that another pandemic emerges, Denmark will likely respond with even more efficiency.
If infectious disease outbreaks are to become more common, the United Nations must take action to ensure limited damage. Denmark is in favor of encouraging more organized, accessible healthcare systems and speedier government action. Gaining trust from citizens has proven to be important in reducing the spread of infectious diseases, but Denmark understands that this is difficult to achieve for many nations. Due to the differing levels of trust in authorities and many other factors, it is important that nations consider their unique qualities when implementing pandemic prevention strategies. For example, higher tourism and population density call for more speed and firmness in government action. Denmark is willing to collaborate and share information with nations that are also known for their efficient reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fitzpatrick, Meagan, et al. “Lessons from COVID-19 Can Help the U.S. Prepare for the next Pandemic.” Www.commonwealthfund.org, 5 July 2023, www.commonwealthfund.org/blog/2023/lessons-covid-19-can-help-us-prepare-next-pandemic#:~:text=We%20need%20to%20make%20a. Accessed 14 Nov. 2023.
Olagnier, David, and Trine H. Mogensen. “The Covid-19 Pandemic in Denmark: Big Lessons from a Small Country.” Cytokine & Growth Factor Reviews, 13 May 2020. National Library of Medicine, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7217796/, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cytogfr.2020.05.005. Accessed 14 Nov. 2023.
World Health Organization. “The True Death Toll of COVID-19: Estimating Global Excess Mortality.” World Health Organization, 2021, www.who.int/data/stories/the-true-death-toll-of-covid-19-estimating-global-excess-mortality. Accessed 14 Nov. 2023.