The current state of pandemic preparedness

On the afternoon of Thursday, May 17th, the Mérieux Foundation USA, DAI, the USAID Preparedness & Response project, and the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) held an event to discuss the current state of pandemic preparedness policy and practice.

“The most important [thing] is not to build up global mechanisms but to strengthen country capacity.” – Dr. David Heymann, Chairman of the Board, Mérieux Foundation USA

The symposium began with introductions from Dr. J. Stephen Morrison (CSIS Global Health Policy Center) and Dr. Luciana Borio (National Security Council) that considered the U.S. government perspective and recent actions to strengthen global health security.

Dr. Beth Cameron (Nuclear Threat Initiative) then moderated a panel of international global health experts—Dr. David Heymann (Chatham House; Mérieux Foundation USA Board Chairman), Dr. Andrew Kitua (USAID Preparedness & Response project), and Dr. Amadou Sall (Director of Institut Pasteur Dakar)—that considered challenges to effectively responding to international epidemics or pandemics. The panel particularly highlighted the importance of supporting preventative research and interventions, and strengthening individual countries’ capacity to prevent and respond to infectious disease outbreaks.

Dr. Sabrina Sholts (Smithsonian Museum of National History) closed the symposium with a presentation of the Museum of Natural History’s new exhibit, “Outbreak: Epidemics in a Connected World.”

To watch the archived webcast, visit CSIS’s on demand video archive.