The coronavirus pandemic has brought the world to a halt, and one of the bleakest aspects of it all is the unpreparedness shown by the world at large to tackle a healthcare catastrophe of the magnitude of the current pandemic.
For years scientists and researchers had warned that the world was overdue a pandemic. However, the global response towards the spread of disease is indicative of the fact that international big-shots paid no heed to the researches happening in their countries.
The world is battling a disease that respects no geographical boundaries and yet, worldwide, there are reports of people and their governments exhibiting a lack of empathy and utilizing this time to further their socio-political and racial biases.
Nonetheless, the international research community has taken it upon itself to fill the void created by a lack of collective international response to a disease affecting all.
Around the globe, international teams of researchers are working tirelessly to find a cure and minimize the impact of, COVID-19. In a world full of differences scientists and scholars have disregarded all concerns of nationalities and political agenda, becoming interdependent and connected, largely disregarding concerns about academic credit.
The international research community is collaborating at a scale unforeseen to minimize the time needed for vaccine development. Traditionally, the well-established research centers at universities of the UK, USA, and other western countries have been credited with creating vaccines, but today the researchers are working on a global scale to mitigate the damage done by the present pandemic.
For instance, scientists from Oxford University are working with local researchers in developing countries to enhance local capacity and to develop better methods of dealing COVID-19 in countries with a lack of resources.
On one hand, where international institutions have failed to formulate a collective response the universities are stepping in to lessen the gap.
Infectious diseases can follow a different pattern in the developed vs developing counties, therefore, the fact that researchers from leading universities are putting together the patterns of COVID-19 spread in countries such as Kenya and Uganda shows that research knows no boundaries and neither does disease.
It is high time that countries begin investing in the right places i.e. healthcare, education, and research- the areas oft-neglected as revealed by the current pandemic. For years the countries including our own have invested in building our defense-lines against visible counter-forces but did not prepare to combat the invisible threat of disease. The Healthcare department, in the world’s largest economy, the USA is at its wits ends to fight the ever-rising numbers of the infected population.
The reality is too grim to ignore, and Pakistan may not have too many cases as the political figures keep assuring the public, but that does not mean that the country is not suffering.
Over the years, we too have miserably neglected research and healthcare, but with the pandemic taking its course, it is time to realize that the country must reassess its priorities and find the correct balance needed to battle any future healthcare emergencies.