Recent disease outbreaks, such as of Ebola virus and Zika virus, have shown that, while progress has been made, “the world remains ill-prepared to address the threat posed by epidemics.” Moreover, these outbreaks have shown once again that the illness and death caused by outbreaks are not distributed evenly, but disproportionately affect the most vulnerable populations. Further work is needed to ensure that pandemic preparedness efforts protect those most in need.
Global preparedness for pandemics requires cooperation among a wide range of actors, such as: governments, international organizations, laboratories, medical professionals, aid organizations, civil society and the pharmaceutical industry. An effective response also involves an all-of-government approach, involving collaboration among the health, animal, finance, agriculture, defense, security, development, and other sectors. Recognizing this, the number of innovative partnerships, at both the national and international levels, has risen in recent years. These partnerships have the potential to better prepare the world for pandemics—and to ensure these efforts reach the most vulnerable populations. Examples of such partnerships include CEPI, Pandemic Influenza Preparedness (PIP) Framework, Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA), Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility (PEF), Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), etc.