Letter to the Editor: Leaders Worldwide Must Work to Shore up Weak Public Health Systems

The leaders of Management Sciences for Health and Save the Children USA, which are two partners of the No More Epidemics campaign, published a letter in today's Boston Globe. Dr. Jonathan Quick and Carolyn Miles wrote:

RE “WHO declares Zika virus a global health emergency” (Page A1, Feb. 2): The World Health Organization’s prompt action this week in declaring the Zika virus a global emergency is the latest reminder of the need for much greater investments in pandemic prevention and preparedness worldwide. We would not be where we are today with the outbreak of the Zika virus in Central and South America had there not been serious lapses in aggressive government-led mosquito control in affected countries.

Politicians worldwide need to take the issue of weak public health systems far more seriously. We need to be asking each of the candidates for president what they would do to better protect us against the very real threat of local outbreaks becoming regional or global pandemics. More investment in primary health care, community health workers, and training to prevent, detect, and rapidly respond to such outbreaks would not only reduce their impact on affected communities, but would also protect everyone around the world.

Dr. Jonathan D. Quick
President and CEO
Management Sciences for Health

Carolyn Miles
President and CEO
Save the Children USA
Fairfield, Conn.

No More Epidemics is a multistakeholder campaign led by MSH, Save the Children, International Medical Corps, and African Field Epidemiology Network (AFENET). For more information visit www.NoMoreEpidemics.org.