Bill Gates weighs in on how to combat the next global epidemic

The Ebola outbreak, which has killed more than 10,000 people, has shown the world that it is not ready to deal with a global epidemic, Bill Gates wrote in a New York Times op-ed. And the next epidemic could be much worse, Gates said. There has been much discussion of the global response to the crisis and whether public health institutions such as the World Health Organization could have responded more effectively. "The problem isn't so much that the system didn't work well enough," Gates said. "The problem is that we hardly have a system at all." Doctors Without Borders mobilized quickly, and military resources from around the globe were used to fly people and equipment in and out of affected areas, but there is no globally funded organization equipped to coordinate a response and stop an epidemic, according to Gates. He suggested strengthening poor countries' health systems, investing in disease surveillance and funding research for drugs, vaccines and diagnostic tests. "We need a global warning and response system for outbreaks," Gates said. Article

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