How Strengthening Health Systems in Low-Income Nations Acts as a First Line of Defense against Infectious Diseases

Published Date : Jan 13, 2016

The World Health Organization on Thursday is anticipated to officially declare the Ebola crisis over and experts have suggested that a 40p investment per year for each individual will enable the world to be much better prepared to battle outbreaks of infectious diseases such as this. 

If Liberia gets the all-clear from WHO, the two year epidemic will officially come to an end, an epidemic that destroyed communities in west African nations, killed over 11,000 people, and exposed the inability of the international community to effectively respond to the crisis. 

A report by a team of international health experts has stated that the threat of infectious diseases is similar to that of natural disasters and wars and all of these can disrupt societies and endanger life. 

In addition to the massive scale of the crisis, the report also found that the efforts to tackle and prepare for large-scale epidemics are undeniably underfunded. A global investment of 40p per person or 3 billion pounds per year is enough to bring down the threat presented by infectious diseases.

One of the primary recommendations that the report makes is strengthening the health care systems in underdeveloped and low income nations. This can prove to be the first line of defense against pandemics and infectious diseases. The report also suggests increasing research and development efforts into infectious diseases with a yearly investment of at least 686 million pounds. In addition, setting up a permanent WHO health emergency center that will lead as well as coordinate actions and defenses will prove to be extremely beneficial in these countries. 

The report calls for immediate action in this year to raise philanthropic, private, and government spending on preparedness for pandemics. It is high time, the report emphasizes, that nations realize the need to be prepared and learn from past lessons and outbreaks.