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Long-Term Investments In Global Health Capacity Vital To Emergency Response Preparedness

Global Health NOW: Important vs. Urgent
Roger L. Glass, director of the Fogarty International Center and associate director for global health research at the NIH

“…I view ‘urgent’ global health problems as those that present suddenly and are responded to in crisis mode. … ‘Important’ global health problems seem to me to be those big issues — HIV, malaria, TB, polio — that we’ve been working on for a long time, require sustained effort and commitment, and can produce fatigue on behalf of the donors, as well as implementers. … We don’t have the resources currently available to fix all the global health problems, so we must prioritize. … [W]e know that preparedness is less expensive to support than emergency response. We need to prepare for future outbreaks, of whatever agent arises. At Fogarty, our core mission is to build research capacity in low- and middle-income countries — and I believe that’s a long-term investment that pays huge dividends. … Only by addressing the ‘important’ issue of global capacity development can we hope to be prepared for the next ‘urgent’ pandemic that is sure to come” (4/20).