The international, independent and multi-stakeholder expert commission scheduled to conduct a study and prepare a report to recommend an effective global architecture for recognizing and mitigating the threat of epidemic infectious diseases held its initial public and closed meetings on July 28 - 29, in Washington, D.C.
The Commission consists of 16 global health leaders with wide experience in public health, financing, research and human resources for health. meeting included sessions on the background for and the charge to the Commission; the landscape of related global initiatives; key challenges and lessons learned for preparedness and response to globally significant infectious disease outbreaks; and the role of government, communities, and the private sector in responding to outbreaks of global significance.
The Commission is now compiling evidence for its report from four workshops which were held in August and September in different parts of the world. Beyond capturing lessons learned from the recent Ebola and other global outbreaks, workshop topic areas included Governance for Global Health, Financing to Contain Pandemic Threats, Resilient Health Systems, and Research and Development of Medical Products.
ACHEST Executive Director, Francis Omaswa, is the Co-chair of the Resilient Health Systems which met in Accra, Ghana, 5 – 7 August, 2015. Thie workshop was also addressed by the Director General of Health Services in Uganda Dr Jane Ruth Aceng. DrAceng made a highly appreciated presentation on Uganda’s strong experience in successfully controlling multiple outbreaks of Ebola over many years.
Over the past 15 years, outbreaks of Ebola, Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), and H1N1 have demonstrated the lack of an adequate local and global health system infrastructure to prevent or mitigate the systemic burdens that result from infectious disease incidents of international significance.
The U.S. National Academy of Medicine (NAM) is providing organizational and management functions to the commission. The NAM and National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s will also provide expertise and project management, including for the workshops and their summaries. The final report with the consensus conclusions and recommendations will be a product of the independent Commission and not of NAM or the Academies.