Columbia University, New York City, NY
In global public health, 2016 was a year defined by the end of two important emergencies: Ebola and Zika.
But that doesn’t mean the risk either of these viruses pose has gone away. Zika transmission continues despite the World Health Organization declaring it is no longer a public health emergency in November. And some have characterized Ebola’s resurgence in 2017 as “a certainty.” We have to be prepared for these viruses to return, causing future epidemics.
With Zika and Ebola, much of the attention has focused on the need for more effective vaccines, faster deployment of staff and resources in response and better diagnostics. And all of these are vitally important.
But relatively little attention is paid to rebuilding the underresourced and underperforming primary health care systems in the places most vulnerable to epidemic disease. [Read more…]