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World Must Better Prepare For ‘Inevitable’ Future Disease Outbreaks

Foreign Affairs: Ebola’s Lessons
Laurie Garrett, senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations

“…If the WHO is going to remain the world’s central authority on global health issues — which it should, because there needs to be one, and it has the most legitimate claim to perform such a role — it needs to concentrate on its core competencies and be freed from the vast array of unrealistic, unprioritized, and highly politicized mandates that its member states have imposed. … [I]t should scale back to providing technical expertise and advice in areas such as tuberculosis, malaria, HIV/AIDS, and child immunizations … [and] plan for a competent, quickly deployable, international volunteer medical corps. … Another area requiring advance attention is the availability and use of experimental medicines, vaccines, and rapid diagnostic tools. … In the end, the world must come to grips with the fact that future epidemics are not just likely but also inevitable and prepare to deal with them more effectively…” (September/October 2015)

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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.