An infectious disease can travel around the globe in just 36 hours. It is not a matter of “if” there will be a new disease outbreak that threatens millions of lives – but “when.”
The Resolve to Save Lives Prevent Epidemics team works with governments and partners to identify gaps in epidemic preparedness and take action to bolster their readiness.
The 2014 Ebola epidemic opened the world’s eyes to critical gaps in our ability to find, stop and prevent deadly infectious disease threats. After the epidemic, a rigorous, external assessment was established (the Joint External Evaluation, or JEE) to evaluate each country’s ability to respond to epidemics. By the end of 2018 nearly 100 countries will have completed a JEE, but not enough has been done to address the life-threatening gaps identified.
Our Prevent Epidemics team accelerates epidemic preparedness by ensuring the accurate, objective, and transparent JEE process will continue, and that the results are shared to encourage effective action. A key strategy to achieve this is PreventEpidemics.org, the world’s first website to provide an overall score for a country’s ability to find, stop and prevent diseases. The site spotlights gaps in epidemic preparedness and highlights actions countries, donors, activists and organizations can take to fill them.
Once gaps are identified, most countries have the intention and determination to prepare for epidemics, but many struggle to implement their plans. Prevent Epidemics aims to catalyze technical assistance and secure funding from governments, development banks and donors to turn countries’ plans into funded projects, and in doing so, protect the health of millions.
We work with governments in low- and middle-income countries to:
– Implement and strengthen disease tracking systems so that unusual events are promptly noticed and investigated.
– Support laboratory networks so that new and emerging pathogens are identified promptly.
– Train and support “disease detectives” – epidemiologists who will track and investigate diseases and outbreaks.
– Develop rapid response teams to investigate and stop outbreaks, working out of functional emergency operations centers working within structured, effective incident management systems.