Opinion Pieces Discuss Lessons Learned From Ebola Epidemic, Next Steps For Disease Preparedness

Huffington Post: Why Ebola Won This Round…And If We’re Smart, Why We Will Win The Next
Michael J. Nyenhuis, president and CEO of AmeriCares

“…To exact its toll of 10,000 lives, Ebola took advantage of weak health systems in West Africa — hospitals with empty shelves, remote clinics without running water, and at the start of the epidemic, just 51 doctors for 4.4 million people in Liberia. If we are serious about global health, we need to extend our emergency response into a long-term recovery. West African nations need stronger health systems with supply chains, infrastructure such as roads and ambulances, investments in doctors, and infection control skills among all levels of medical staff…” (3/25).

PLOS Medicine: Strengthening the Detection of and Early Response to Public Health Emergencies: Lessons from the West African Ebola Epidemic
Mark Siedner and Hilarie Cranmer of the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Global Health, and Lawrence Gostin and John Kraemer of the O’Neill Institute

“…While current efforts to bring the [Ebola virus disease (EVD)] epidemic under control should be widely applauded, the delayed response during the early stages of the EVD epidemic in West Africa exemplifies not only the danger posed by disease outbreaks in states with weak health systems but also their widespread impact in an increasingly globalized world. The international public health community — WHO, states, and stakeholders — can learn from missteps during the first stages of the epidemic. If instead we accept the status quo by relying on overwhelmed and undersupported domestic health systems and international charity to respond to threats after they have become emergencies, history will repeat itself…” (3/24).

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