World Leaders Must Sustain Investments, Focus On Disease Prevention To Achieve Global Health Security

Devex: Opinion: No time to disarm — keeping up the global health security momentum
Carolyn Reynolds, vice president of policy and advocacy at PATH

“…The Trump administration and Congress should continue to prioritize investments in global health security and come together behind a comprehensive strategy that is adequately funded, as outlined in a new [PATH] report [that outlines recommendations for how the U.S. government can take action to prevent the next pandemic]. Top priority should be given to building the preparedness of low- and middle-income countries — where the next deadly outbreak is most likely to occur due to weak health systems. This will require sustained investments. … Research and development is another strategic investment to advance global health security. … Finally, global health programs that are not traditionally thought of as ‘epidemic preparedness’ — such as those designed to deliver vaccines, fight HIV and AIDS, polio, tuberculosis, and malaria, and to reach mothers and children with quality care — should also be considered part of our global health security arsenal…” (10/23).

Project Syndicate: Preempting the Next Pandemic
Stephen J. Thomas, infectious diseases physician, professor of medicine, and chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the State University of New York’s Upstate Medical University

“…Building an effective prevention and containment strategy — being bio-prepared — is the best way to reduce the threat of a global contagion. … [W]e need to redefine how we think about preparedness, moving from a reactive position to a more proactive approach. Money earmarked for preparedness must be allocated at levels sufficient to have the required impact. Limitations on how it can be spent should be loosened. Funding sources must be opened to allow for multi-year commitments. Health care providers and first responders must receive proper training. And long-term solutions such as establishing and connecting bio-surveillance systems should be expanded and strengthened … Failing to invest appropriately in prevention of infectious disease outbreaks puts all of us at risk, whenever or wherever the next one occurs” (10/23).