Thursday 14 January could see the WHO declare Liberia free from Ebola virus transmission – marking the first time all of the three worst-affected West African countries are free from infection since the outbreak began. As the world continues to learn difficult lessons from the crisis and the failures that occurred during the response, a landmark report spells out what must be done to increase our resilience to such outbreaks in future.
The report of the Commission on Creating a Global Health Risk Framework for the Future highlights infectious diseases as one of the biggest risks facing humankind and estimates the annual expected cost from potential pandemics at more than £40bn. It says £3bn a year must be spent to make the world safer against potential pandemics, and recommends several key reforms to the WHO and other health systems to help deliver this capability.
The Director of the Wellcome Trust, Jeremy Farrar, an infectious diseases expert who was on the International Oversight Group for the Commission, came to the SMC to give his take on the report and its recommendations.
Dr Jeremy Farrar, Director of the Wellcome Trust and a member of the Commission’s International Oversight Group
Ms Nancy Lee, Senior Policy Advisor, Wellcome Trust