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Bill Gates Discusses Ebola, Underscores Need To Strengthen Health Systems

Gates Notes: Ebola, Beyond the Headlines
Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, discusses the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa, including the response to date, and highlights the need to strengthen health systems in the most-affected countries and in others around the world. He writes, “…Even as we do everything we can to stop this crisis, we should also be studying its long-term implications. It’s a reminder of the urgent need to strengthen health systems in the world’s poorest countries. … Health systems — which encompass everything from rural clinics to community health workers to hospitals — are the best protection against epidemics. … Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea need support to strengthen their primary care systems now. Governments, donors, and other partners … can join forces to build short-term capacity, while also building the foundation for health systems of the future. It will take an aggressive plan, with accountability measures in place, to start delivering core services such as routine immunization, maternal health, and family planning again…” (10/6).