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The world is becoming increasingly vulnerable to pandemics resulting from globalization, urbanization, intense human/animal interchange, and climate change. A series of global health crises have emerged since 2000, ranging from Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and its phylogenetic cousin Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), to pandemic Influenza A (H1N1), Ebola, and the ongoing Zika virus epidemic. The Ebola epidemic gave rise to four global commissions proposing a bold new agenda for global health preparedness and response for future infectious disease threats.

Four global commissions reviewing the recent Ebola virus disease epidemic response consistently recommended strengthening national health systems, consolidating and strengthening World Health Organization (WHO) emergency and outbreak response activities, and enhancing research and development.

System-wide accountability is vital to effectively prevent, detect, and respond to future global health emergencies.

Global leaders (e.g., United Nations, World Health Assembly, G7, and G20) should maintain continuous oversight of global health preparedness, and ensure effective implementation of the Ebola commissions’ key recommendations, including sustainable and scalable financing.

Publication Citation

13(5) Plos Med. 1-15 (May 19, 2016)