Opinion Pieces Discuss U.S., WHO Responses To Zika

The Hill: Zika, Ebola, other public health crises — we need a better plan
Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.)

“…The U.S. and our global partners should adopt a two-tiered preparedness strategy [for disease outbreaks]: proactive research and reactionary response. Predictive models of disease hotspots must be connected with travel patterns. This would allow public health officials to anticipate where the next outbreak will occur. Being able to anticipate this allows public health researchers to go to a community, do background data, and begin administering a vaccine if one is available. Ongoing funding — rather than episodic, emergency funding — is more efficient. If we operated under this two-tiered strategy, the current Zika crisis could have possibly been avoided…” (2/24).

Quartz: The WHO botched Ebola — but it’s winning praise for handling the terrifying Zika epidemic
Akshat Rathi, reporter for Quartz

“…[T]he WHO’s response to the [Zika] crisis has been remarkable. It shows how simple but crucial principles of crisis management can be applied at a massive scale. … The first principle of managing a crisis is to be prepared. … The second principle of managing a crisis is to communicate clearly. … The third principle of managing a crisis is to use resources well. … [I]t’s remarkable how fast a big bureaucracy like the WHO has turned itself around. Almost all the improvements in the WHO’s capacity for dealing with outbreaks were made in the few months between the tail-end of the Ebola epidemic and the explosive start of the Zika outbreak. … [I]t’s reassuring that there is now at least one global institution that can be trusted to respond effectively [to disease outbreaks]” (2/24).

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