Leaders share views on the future of global health security

June 16, 2016 by PATH

PATH CEO Steve Davis says to avoid next outbreak, we need to get smart by clarifying priorities and investing in the future.
Workers wearing protective gear spraying inside a cement building.

Health workers wearing protective gear spray insecticide inside a home as a control against mosquitoes. Photo: PATH/David Jacobs.

In the best cases, the lessons we learn from past experiences can help us successfully navigate into the future. But what about the lessons learned in addressing pandemic threats across the globe?

A recent article outlines four steps to implementing the hard-learned lessons our global health community has experienced during the last decade. Both Steve Davis, CEO and president at PATH, and Thomas J. Bollyky, senior fellow for global health, economics, and development at Council on Foreign Relations, believe that global security can only be achieved by ensuring that the assets, resources, and commitments of partners across various sectors all fully contribute to the same shared goals.

Following are some select excerpts from Davis and Bollyky’s bylined article “Back to the Future of Global Health Security”:

To improve pandemic preparedness we must embrace the hard-won lessons of the past decade in global health, not ignore them. This is true in deploying people and resources to prepare for the inevitability of future outbreaks, but even more so when it comes to accelerating the development of the medical tools to diagnose, treat, and prevent those infectious disease outbreaks from turning into epidemics, or even pandemics.

Creating a sustainable and coordinated environment for supporting innovation is key to advancing the goal of improved global health security. This is true whether it is investing in “just-in-case” preparedness or a “just-in-time” response to an outbreak. Implementing the hard-learned lessons from the last decade in global health can help achieve this goal while ensuring that the assets, resources, and commitments of partners across various sectors all fully contribute to enhancing global security.

“With more outbreaks on the horizon, we can’t afford to repeat this cycle of uncertain priorities and wasted time and investments.”

Read the entire article “Back to the Future of Global Health Security” on the Council for Foreign Relations website.