Fight against COVID-19 highlights urgency of cultivating talent in public health: leading Chinese epidemiologist

2023-03-06 13:21:57Global Times Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download
Special: Two Sessions 2023

The three-year fight against COVID-19 has highlighted urgency of cultivating talent in public health areas, according to Wu Zunyou, chief epidemiologist of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, who also acts as a political advisor. Wu proposed to enhance training of such talent over coming years. 

China’s three-year fight with COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of enhancing the training of talent in public health, Wu said in an interview published on Sunday. “The lack of talent is obvious in every aspect of the public health field. Thus we need to cultivate more, so they will be equipped with abundant experience and knowledge to shoulder responsibility when new public health problems emerge,” said Wu. He emphasized that a strong team of public health is of vital importance to China’s future public health. 

Wu, who is also a member of the 14th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) is going to submit his proposal for this year’s two sessions, giving suggestions on offering front-line experience to public health trainees, so they can form a profound knowledge of frontline public health problems. 

Looking back, the chief epidemiologist said the biggest source of pressure is forecasting the infection curve, as it requires abundant resources, teamwork and analysis of large amount of data. “Every time an outbreak occurs, predicting the infection exerts big challenge for epidemiologists. Experts are very cautious in giving an estimated time of tapering point.”

Wu said that for at least for now the WHO did not declare end of global health emergency, and it still poses a threat to people’s lives and health, thus the COVID-19 is not over. 

China has entered a phase of regular COVID-19 response, in which prevention and control measures for Class B infectious diseases are applied. We must ensure our response is well-conceived, more targeted, and more effective. We should protect people’s health and prevent severe cases, with an emphasis on prevention and treatment for the elderly, children, and people with underlying medical conditions. COVID-19 vaccines should be upgraded and new drugs should be developed. We should ensure people’s access to medicines and medical services to protect their lives and health, according to a government work report made public Sunday.


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