Establishing Trust Within Communities, Investing In Prevention Critical To Curbing Potential Pandemics

The Hill: We can curb potential pandemics by investing in prevention tactics
Ashley Arabasadi, health security policy adviser at Management Sciences for Health

“Along with the Ebola outbreak that’s already infected more than 1,600 people, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is fighting another battle: An epidemic of fear and mistrust. Community members are afraid to seek treatment, including a promising experimental vaccine. … Political strife has worsened this escalating situation while highlighting vulnerabilities in handling outbreaks in fragile states. … Building the capacity of local health staff at the outset can … help establish trust among communities. … Ultimately, the most effective way to curb a potential pandemic is to invest in prevention tactics. … We also need a health lead in the National Security Council to coordinate the work of the many U.S. agencies that contribute to global health security … These high-level commitments to low-level action are the only way we can ensure the safety of those who are putting themselves in danger on the ground. Our future depends on their success” (5/20).