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Strengthening Epidemic Preparedness, Response Critical To Preventing Future Pandemics

Financial Times: Missing links: urgent action is needed to prevent future pandemics
Steve Davis, president and CEO of PATH

“…Improving epidemic preparedness and prevention should be one of our most urgent priorities. … Effective pandemic preparedness will depend on our ability to connect innovations, starting with research and development and extending all the way to the logistic capabilities critical to delivering supplies to those who need them. … In addition, to respond to outbreaks quickly we need to improve local surveillance capabilities, laboratory capacity, diagnostic tools, and health information systems. … Ebola, Zika, and yellow fever are a resounding wake-up call for a world that has been reluctant to make the investments needed to prevent a future disease outbreak from becoming a global catastrophe like the 1918 flu epidemic. A pandemic on that scale today would claim hundreds of millions of lives and create unimaginable economic and social disruption. To ensure that the next outbreak of yellow fever — or flu, or some other as yet-unknown pathogen — never causes that kind of devastation, we need to strengthen every link of the chain of epidemic preparedness and response. And we need to do it now” (1/27).

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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.