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Strengthening Public Health Systems, Improving Women’s Status Will Bolster Global Health Security

The Guardian: Ebola shows how our global health priorities need to be shaken up
Chelsea Clinton, adjunct assistant professor at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and vice-chair of the Clinton Foundation, and Devi Sridhar, associate professor at the University of Edinburgh’s Medical School and on the Board of Save the Children U.K.

“Amnesia has set in across the world as the fear and global attention given to Ebola recedes. But this is not a new phenomenon. … Myopia was a key factor in the failure to respond to Ebola in a rapid and effective way. There are three immediate steps that should be taken: 1. We need a better definition of health security…; 2. We need to listen to what governments are asking for assistance with…; 3. We need to invest in women and girls in a long-term way … The kneejerk response is to develop a disease-specific and narrow outbreak preparedness policy which neglects the two biggest risks to health security: weak to nonexistent public health infrastructure and the low status of women in society. Let’s start getting the politics behind the evidence and overcome the myopia when it comes to global health” (5/6).

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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.