Global Health Security Threats: Time to Act Now

ebola virusAccording to the new report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Commission on Strengthening America’s Health Security, “the United States remains woefully ill-prepared to respond to global health security threats.” The CSIS Commission urges the U.S. government to address the potential crisis by establishing a doctrine of continuous prevention, protection, and resilience. In particular, the authors underscore the “cycle of crisis and complacency” that defines the current state of the U.S. public health system.

The report highlights a number of critical actions necessary to further the change. Among those listed, the U.S. government must allocate resources on accomplishing the following:

Significantly, the primary goal of the new public health doctrine is to acknowledge the increasing threat of epidemics and to address the immediate health needs of vulnerable populations in fragile or failed states. In particular, health security crises fueled by geopolitics represent the new frontier of global threats to humanity. As the current health infrastructure depends on national governments, the lack of global cooperation limits the effectiveness of countermeasures. As such, biosafety and biosecurity are rapidly becoming the most time-sensitive initiative to be addressed internationally. Given this environment, the United States is uniquely positioned to provide leadership and technological expertise to further global resiliency and preparedness in combatting emerging health threats.

The HSDL offers many additional resources related to public health and biosecurity in our special featured topic Pandemics and Epidemics. Please note: you will need the HSDL login to view some of these resources.

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