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Improving Country Surveillance, Diagnostic Capacity Critical To Preventing Epidemics

The Hill: We have to start preparing for the next deadly epidemic
Alain Mérieux, president of the Mérieux Foundation

“…If we can enable Africa and Asia to detect and respond to [disease] threats where and when they emerge, we can prevent millions of deaths there, and better protect ourselves in North America and Europe. … [T]he investments we need to make now to improve developing country surveillance and diagnostic capacity will make or break the world’s response to the next big outbreak. … [W]e need a national system for spotting anomalous patterns or unknown pathogens. And we need the head of that system sitting alongside the health minister so that the country can respond rapidly. … Stronger health systems and better international cooperation on infectious threats are possible but more countries and partners need to engage, and to do so with greater efficiency. It is the only way we can see the threats around us well enough to act, and to act fast” (9/27).

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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.