The Partners In Health Plan for Dealing with Pandemics

Posted on Jul 5, 2016

The Partners In Health Plan for Dealing with Pandemics
World Bank President Jim Yong Kim speaks at the Ise-Shima Summit commemorative event, "Dialogue with President Kim on Global Health" held in Tokyo, Japan, on May 26, 2016. Photo by Antony Tran / World Bank

Partners In Health co-founder Dr. Jim Yong Kim, who currently serves as president of the World Bank Group, made clear in The Washington Post last week (“A plan to deal with the next pandemic,” July 1, 2016) that pandemics know no borders:

“The growing concern over the Zika virus highlights a frightening reality: The world remains ill-prepared for a fast-moving virus. … U.S.-led efforts are critically important. But as with Zika, Ebola, avian flu, swine flu and other pandemics that have affected the United States over the past decade, it’s likely that the next big one will start in a developing country. In those countries, weaker health systems and a lack of investment in preparedness leave all of us, no matter where we live, vulnerable to the spread of a deadly pandemic. Pandemics are a global security threat, and they demand a truly global response.”

Dr. Kim went on to discuss how the newly created Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility will more quickly and efficiently direct global dollars to where emerging diseases most likely start.

At Partners In Health, we know that building and sustaining public health systems in poor communities around the world is the most effective way to spend these dollars. Strong health systems must be on the frontlines of combating emerging diseases such as the Ebola and Zika viruses. Our experience has shown us that containing or mitigating emerging diseases where they start is the most effective way to handle global public health threats. The robust health systems we build and sustain not only transform poor communities, they will help safeguard the world.

Read Dr. Kim’s opinion piece in The Washington Post here.

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