publication May 18, 2018

Money and Microbes: Strengthening Research Capacity to Prevent Epidemics

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There have been many global and country-level efforts to strengthen pandemic preparedness and response since the deadly West African Ebola outbreak in 2014-2015 that killed 11,000 people. This outbreak, of unprecedented proportions, devastated the countries of Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia and presented tremendous challenges to the global public health and emergency response communities. The inadequacy of the initial response demonstrated the world’s lack of preparedness to respond to such events. More than any other recent outbreak—and there have been many—the Ebola Crisis has stimulated concerted efforts, from the frontlines of country health systems to the back offices of UN bureaucracies, to improve our readiness for epidemic and pandemic threats. Despite many promising developments, there is still a long road ahead to achieving this goal.

Robust clinical research capacity in low- and middle-income countries is key to stemming the spread of epidemics.

This report lays out how to develop the political support, financing and coordination required to build this capacity as a crucial component of global epidemic preparedness.