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A Vision for Ending Pandemics

Five Components of Systems Change to Disease Surveillance

Ending Pandemics is an
Achievable Goal

Realizing this vision requires all countries to detect the earliest signs of any potential outbreak fast enough to take local action and prevent global spread. How fast is fast enough?

How we plan to
achieve this goal

Engage Directly with the Public

Countries that engage their populations in direct reporting of symptoms of illness or adverse events are earlier to detect and faster to respond to any emerging health crisis.

No one understands that something is “not right” in a community better than someone within it. The first evidence of a disease spreading may appear as a cluster of symptoms among more than one person in a given locality.

Deploy a
One-Health Model

Communities that embrace the interdependence of humans, animals, and the environment hold the key to greater preservation of lives and livelihoods, and advance the prediction and prevention of the next pandemic.

Consequences of the interactions of humans with animals and ecosystems continue to shape the course of disease events and, indeed, history. An effective approach to early detection and rapid response, therefore, requires human and animal health communities working in tandem, taking into account the ecosystem factors that lead to disease emergence.

Expand Epidemic
Intelligence

Data analytics, crowd-sourced experts, and diagnostic capacity can enhance local epidemic intelligence and contribute to global health security.

Historically, epidemic intelligence relied on traditional epidemiologic methods by trained professionals, i.e., shoe-leather epidemiology. When a suspected outbreak was detected, epidemiologists investigated the situation, conducted observational or case-control studies, and implemented prevention and control measures based on their findings.

Collaborate with
Neighboring Countries

Trust, transparency, and timeliness improve when neighboring countries collectively strive for greater regional stability and resiliency from microbial threats.

When it comes to an unfolding public health emergency, few countries have the capacity to go it alone. Many rely on the help of international organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO), World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and also garner support from local NGOs working within their borders.

Measure Progress

Standardized metrics allow quantitative assessments of timeliness in detection and response to benchmark improvements and evaluate investments in disease surveillance.

The age-old adage, ‘what gets measured gets done,’ holds true for the prevention and control of emerging infectious diseases. Many efforts to capture country capacities in dealing with emerging infectious disease threats have arisen in the past few years.

Looking Ahead

Early detection is by far the most achievable and cost-effective way to prevent a threat anywhere from becoming a threat everywhere. At a minimum, applying our five components of systems change will enable robust disease prevention and control in the planetary hotspots for emerging diseases.