Reliable Funding Necessary To End Ebola, Shore Up Global Health Security
The Hill: Crisis bill due: Who will pay for Ebola?
Carol A. Heimer, professor of sociology at Northwestern University, research professor at the American Bar Foundation, and public voices fellow through the OpEd Project
“…A [public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC)] ‘is not for fundraising,’ Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO’s director general, stressed in his announcement [on the decision to declare Ebola a PHEIC]. Labeling an outbreak an emergency doesn’t automatically release any funds. Yet financial support is badly needed … Without additional funds, the WHO and humanitarian organizations will have to curtail critical activities, … thereby permitting Ebola to spread. … What can be done to shore up funding for global public health? … Acknowledging that the security implications of some health emergencies necessitate additional funding and better coordination, the United Nations created a Mission for Ebola Emergency Response during the 2014-16 West African Ebola outbreak. In a similar spirit, in 2015 the WHO created a Contingency Fund for Emergencies to permit more nimble responses to health emergencies. Despite these initiatives, the funding crisis continues. … Only with reliable funding for responding to emergencies and building core capacities can the International Health Regulations make global health security a reality…” (7/26).