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2.
BMJ Glob Health ; 8(6)2023 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20236651

ABSTRACT

Global health requires evidence-based approaches to improve health and decrease inequalities. In a roundtable discussion between health practitioners, funders, academics and policy-makers, we recognised key areas for improvement to deliver better-informed, sustainable and equitable global health practices. These focus on considering information-sharing mechanisms and developing evidence-based frameworks that take an adaptive function-based approach, grounded in the ability to perform and respond to prioritised needs. Increasing social engagement as well as sector and participant diversity in whole-of-society decision-making, and collaborating with and optimising on hyperlocal and global regional entities, will improve prioritisation of global health capabilities. Since the skills required to navigate drivers of pandemics, and the challenges in prioritising, capacity building and response do not sit squarely in the health sector, it is essential to integrate expertise from a broad range of fields to maximise on available knowledge during decision-making and system development. Here, we review the current assessment tools and provide seven discussion points for how improvements to implementation of evidence-based prioritisation can improve global health.


Subject(s)
Evidence-Based Practice , Global Health , Humans
4.
BMJ ; 380: 463, 2023 02 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2276394
5.
PLOS global public health ; 3(1), 2023.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-2253805

ABSTRACT

The World Health Organization (WHO) notifies the global community about disease outbreaks through the Disease Outbreak News (DON). These online reports tell important stories about both outbreaks themselves and the high-level decision making that governs information sharing during public health emergencies. However, they have been used only minimally in global health scholarship to date. Here, we collate all 2,789 of these reports from their first use through the start of the Covid-19 pandemic (January 1996 to December 2019), and develop an annotated database of the subjective and often inconsistent information they contain. We find that these reports are dominated by a mix of persistent worldwide threats (particularly influenza and cholera) and persistent epidemics (like Ebola virus disease in Africa or MERS-CoV in the Middle East), but also document important periods in history like the anthrax bioterrorist attacks at the turn of the century, the spread of chikungunya and Zika virus to the Americas, or even recent lapses in progress towards polio elimination. We present three simple vignettes that show how researchers can use these data to answer both qualitative and quantitative questions about global outbreak dynamics and public health response. However, we also find that the retrospective value of these reports is visibly limited by inconsistent reporting (e.g., of disease names, case totals, mortality, and actions taken to curtail spread). We conclude that sharing a transparent rubric for which outbreaks are considered reportable, and adopting more standardized formats for sharing epidemiological metadata, might help make the DON more useful to researchers and policymakers.

6.
Lancet ; 400(10350): 462-468, 2022 08 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2170688

ABSTRACT

Epidemic risk assessment and response relies on rapid information sharing. Using examples from the past decade, we discuss the limitations of the present system for outbreak notifications, which suffers from ambiguous obligations, fragile incentives, and an overly narrow focus on human outbreaks. We examine existing international legal frameworks, and provide clarity on what a successful One Health approach to proposed international law reforms-including a pandemic treaty and amendments to the International Health Regulations-would require. In particular, we focus on how a treaty would provide opportunities to simultaneously expand reporting obligations, accelerate the sharing of scientific discoveries, and strengthen existing legal frameworks, all while addressing the most complex issues that global health governance currently faces.


Subject(s)
International Law , One Health , Disease Outbreaks , Global Health , Humans , International Cooperation
7.
Lancet Glob Health ; 10(11): e1675-e1683, 2022 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2106224

ABSTRACT

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, several international initiatives have been developed to strengthen and reform the global architecture for pandemic preparedness and response, including proposals for a pandemic treaty, a Pandemic Fund, and mechanisms for equitable access to medical countermeasures. These initiatives seek to make use of crucial lessons gleaned from the ongoing pandemic by addressing gaps in health security and traditional public health functions. However, there has been insufficient consideration of the vital role of universal health coverage in sustainably mitigating outbreaks, and the importance of robust primary health care in equitably and efficiently safeguarding communities from future health threats. The international community should not repeat the mistakes of past health security efforts that ultimately contributed to the rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and disproportionately affected vulnerable and marginalised populations, especially by overlooking the importance of coherent, multisectoral health systems. This Health Policy paper outlines major (although often neglected) gaps in pandemic preparedness and response, which are applicable to broader health emergency preparedness and response efforts, and identifies opportunities to reconceptualise health security by scaling up universal health coverage. We then offer a comprehensive set of recommendations to help inform the development of key pandemic preparedness and response proposals across three themes-governance, financing, and supporting initiatives. By identifying approaches that simultaneously strengthen health systems through global health security and universal health coverage, we aim to provide tangible solutions that equitably meet the needs of all communities while ensuring resilience to future pandemic threats.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Global Health , Humans , International Cooperation , Pandemics/prevention & control , Universal Health Insurance
8.
The Lancet. Global health ; 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-2045953

ABSTRACT

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, several international initiatives have been developed to strengthen and reform the global architecture for pandemic preparedness and response, including proposals for a pandemic treaty, a Pandemic Fund, and mechanisms for equitable access to medical countermeasures. These initiatives seek to make use of crucial lessons gleaned from the ongoing pandemic by addressing gaps in health security and traditional public health functions. However, there has been insufficient consideration of the vital role of universal health coverage in sustainably mitigating outbreaks, and the importance of robust primary health care in equitably and efficiently safeguarding communities from future health threats. The international community should not repeat the mistakes of past health security efforts that ultimately contributed to the rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and disproportionately affected vulnerable and marginalised populations, especially by overlooking the importance of coherent, multisectoral health systems. This Health Policy paper outlines major (although often neglected) gaps in pandemic preparedness and response, which are applicable to broader health emergency preparedness and response efforts, and identifies opportunities to reconceptualise health security by scaling up universal health coverage. We then offer a comprehensive set of recommendations to help inform the development of key pandemic preparedness and response proposals across three themes—governance, financing, and supporting initiatives. By identifying approaches that simultaneously strengthen health systems through global health security and universal health coverage, we aim to provide tangible solutions that equitably meet the needs of all communities while ensuring resilience to future pandemic threats.

9.
Science ; 377(6605): 475-477, 2022 07 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1973778

ABSTRACT

An evidence-based treaty must balance prevention, preparedness, response, and repair.


Subject(s)
International Cooperation , Pandemics , Zoonoses , Animals , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Risk , Zoonoses/epidemiology , Zoonoses/prevention & control
10.
Lancet ; 398(10316): 2109-2124, 2021 12 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1598178

ABSTRACT

Understanding the spread of SARS-CoV-2, how and when evidence emerged, and the timing of local, national, regional, and global responses is essential to establish how an outbreak became a pandemic and to prepare for future health threats. With that aim, the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response has developed a chronology of events, actions, and recommendations, from December, 2019, when the first cases of COVID-19 were identified in China, to the end of March, 2020, by which time the outbreak had spread extensively worldwide and had been characterised as a pandemic. Datapoints are based on two literature reviews, WHO documents and correspondence, submissions to the Panel, and an expert verification process. The retrospective analysis of the chronology shows a dedicated initial response by WHO and some national governments, but also aspects of the response that could have been quicker, including outbreak notifications under the International Health Regulations (IHR), presumption and confirmation of human-to-human transmission of SARS-CoV-2, declaration of a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, and, most importantly, the public health response of many national governments. The chronology also shows that some countries, largely those with previous experience with similar outbreaks, reacted quickly, even ahead of WHO alerts, and were more successful in initially containing the virus. Mapping actions against IHR obligations, the chronology shows where efficiency and accountability could be improved at local, national, and international levels to more quickly alert and contain health threats in the future. In particular, these improvements include necessary reforms to international law and governance for pandemic preparedness and response, including the IHR and a potential framework convention on pandemic preparedness and response.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Pandemics , Animals , COVID-19/transmission , China/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks , Global Health/legislation & jurisprudence , Humans , Information Dissemination , International Cooperation , International Health Regulations , Risk Assessment , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Time Factors , World Health Organization , Zoonoses/virology
12.
Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci ; 376(1837): 20200358, 2021 11 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1429384

ABSTRACT

In the light of the urgency raised by the COVID-19 pandemic, global investment in wildlife virology is likely to increase, and new surveillance programmes will identify hundreds of novel viruses that might someday pose a threat to humans. To support the extensive task of laboratory characterization, scientists may increasingly rely on data-driven rubrics or machine learning models that learn from known zoonoses to identify which animal pathogens could someday pose a threat to global health. We synthesize the findings of an interdisciplinary workshop on zoonotic risk technologies to answer the following questions. What are the prerequisites, in terms of open data, equity and interdisciplinary collaboration, to the development and application of those tools? What effect could the technology have on global health? Who would control that technology, who would have access to it and who would benefit from it? Would it improve pandemic prevention? Could it create new challenges? This article is part of the theme issue 'Infectious disease macroecology: parasite diversity and dynamics across the globe'.


Subject(s)
Disease Reservoirs/virology , Global Health , Pandemics/prevention & control , Zoonoses/prevention & control , Zoonoses/virology , Animals , Animals, Wild , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/veterinary , Ecology , Humans , Laboratories , Machine Learning , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Viruses , Zoonoses/epidemiology
16.
Cell ; 184(5): 1127-1132, 2021 03 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1188379

ABSTRACT

Recent reports suggest that some SARS-CoV-2 genetic variants, such as B.1.1.7, might be more transmissible and are quickly spreading around the world. As the emergence of more transmissible variants could exacerbate the pandemic, we provide public health guidance for increased surveillance and measures to reduce community transmission.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , Communicable Disease Control , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Age Factors , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Epidemiological Monitoring , Global Health , Humans , Mandatory Programs , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Travel/legislation & jurisprudence , United Kingdom/epidemiology , Vulnerable Populations
18.
Health Aff (Millwood) ; 40(2): 204-211, 2021 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1159333

ABSTRACT

The US has experienced a series of epidemics during the past five decades. None has tested the nation's resilience like the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, which has laid bare critical weaknesses in US pandemic preparedness and domestic leadership and the nation's decline in global standing in public health. Pandemic response has been politicized, proven public health measures undermined, and public confidence in a science-based public health system reduced. This has been compounded by the large number of citizens without ready access to health care, who are overrepresented among infected, hospitalized, and fatal cases. Here, as part of the National Academy of Medicine's Vital Directions for Health and Health Care: Priorities for 2021 initiative, we review the US approach to pandemic preparedness and its impact on the response to COVID-19. We identify six steps that should be taken to strengthen US pandemic resilience, strengthen and modernize the US health care system, regain public confidence in government leadership in public health, and restore US engagement and leadership in global partnerships to address future pandemic threats domestically and around the world.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Civil Defense , Communicable Diseases, Emerging/prevention & control , Leadership , Public Health , Resilience, Psychological , Delivery of Health Care , Health Care Reform , Humans , Infection Control
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