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The 2014 Ebola outbreak demonstrated how deadly diseases do not respect international borders, and that the world is underprepared for the next such incident. Building on our analysis of the global response to Ebola, CGD looks at how to improve both international coordination efforts and health systems in order to respond faster and better to save more lives when, not if, the next deadly outbreak happens.
More than two years after we saw the end of a deadly Ebola epidemic that claimed the lives of over 11,000 people and devastated populations in West Africa, new mechanisms have been pursued to strengthen preparedness efforts, stimulate innovation for new vaccines and therapies, and develop rapid and comprehensive response strategies. But how equipped are we to address new Ebola threats?
The 2014-2015 Ebola outbreak in West Africa was a disturbing demonstration of the inadequacy of international institutions to assist the affected peoples or learn how to better treat and prevent their illness. Experts on a CGD panel discussed their experiences working on crisis response during the Ebola outbreak—and how we can do better.
The 2014-2015 Ebola epidemic broke out and affected thousands of people at a time when there were no medicines approved to treat or prevent Ebola. Poor infrastructure, capacity gaps, widespread mistrust, and disagreements over the design and ethical nature of any clinical trials complicated efforts to conduct research on investigational drugs and vaccines. In the wake of the outbreak, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine tasked a committee with analyzing the clinical trials carried out during the outbreak and developing recommendations to improve the implementation of such trials in the future. In this session, committee members Gerald Keusch and David Peters will discuss findings from the committee’s recently released report and the kind of governance structures that need to be in place for effective international coordination and collaboration.