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U.N., Member Governments Should Strengthen Local Surveillance, Capacity To Respond To Disease Outbreaks

Globe and Mail: The Ebola crisis taught us lessons, but will we learn from them?
Editorial Board

“…It is … essential to strengthen the capacity of the WHO to act quickly and independently in identifying and combating viral outbreaks, without the kind of hesitation that slowed the [organization’s Ebola] response in 2014. … The search for affordable vaccines and treatments must go on, but in the world of infectious diseases there is no substitute for ground-level vigilance and surveillance. … Viruses will thrive in broken societies. While the U.N., its agencies, and member governments are limited in their ability to impose the kind of peaceful, orderly conditions that are the best guarantors of a healthy life, they can do a much better job of building the capacities of local hospitals and health systems to better anticipate an outbreak and survive its onslaught. This will take money and a long-term commitment, and it will be worth it” (1/17).

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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.