Resilient health systems key for managing disease outbreaks

Health systems can better handle future infectious disease outbreaks such as Ebola by being more resilient and better prepared to respond to severe global health crises, according to a May 7, 2015 Lancet article co-authored by Margaret E. Kruk, associate professor of global health at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

The Viewpoint article was part of a Lancet series of essays written by global health practitioners on lessons learned from the Ebola outbreak. It was co-authored with colleagues from the Rockefeller Foundation and the Liberian government.

In a May 8, 2015 Medscape Medical News interview, Kruk described an “absence of resilience” in health systems that fail to recognize that a crisis in one region could become a widespread crisis. During the Ebola outbreak, she said, there was a lack of implementation of the International Health Regulations, a series of guidelines that spells out how to detect and respond to outbreaks effectively. “What’s ironic is that most of the countries of the world have signed onto these,” but many, especially poor countries, did not implement them, Kruk said.

Read the Viewpoint article: What is a resilient health system? Lessons from Ebola

Read the Medscape article (free registration required): Can the Ebola Outbreak Strengthen Global Health Security?

Read the Lancet press release: Can the Ebola outbreak rejuvenate global health security?

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