Bolstering, Maintaining Infrastructures, Supply Chains Key To Improving Health

Washington Post: If we really want to eradicate diseases such as Ebola, we need a new strategy
Heidi Morefield, Ph.D. candidate in the history of medicine at Johns Hopkins University

“…[T]he turn toward high-tech solutions for distribution of vaccines has overshadowed the more pressing issue: the need to solve the underlying infrastructure problems that make their use necessary. While scaling up systems such as affordable, reliable solar energy and clean drinking water may not attract long-term attention and investment from Western governments and nonprofit organizations, this is the most effective path to preventing future outbreaks and improving basic health care in Congo and other places. … Roads and power grids would greatly facilitate vaccine distribution at the correct temperature and enable people to more easily access clinics; clean water and sewage systems would prevent many diseases in the first place. … Directing [more philanthropic and multilateral aid] money toward bolstering and maintaining infrastructure and supply chains in developing countries would obviate many of the U.S. tech industry’s humanitarian innovations and build more sustainable, self-sufficient communities around the world. If we are serious about building capacity and self-reliance, we need to learn from history” (7/9).

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