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Building Health Systems’ Capacity Can Prevent Future Health Emergencies

The Guardian: Ebola cannot be cured but West Africa’s epidemic may have been preventable
Lisa Denney, research fellow in the politics and governance program at the Overseas Development Institute

“…[Ebola] is plaguing three of the countries least equipped to cope with it [– Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone]. … To bring the virus under control, countries need more help from external partners. In the immediate term, emergency humanitarian support is needed to treat those infected and prevent further cases … In the longer term, support must focus on building the capacities of national health and sanitation systems to respond to emergencies and prevent such unnecessary loss of life. … Prevention might be better than cure, but it is also much harder to build capacity to do this. … Building this capacity to prevent future health emergencies is a long-term endeavor that becomes more critical with each epidemic in the region” (7/8).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.