Pandemic Preparedness Financing - Status Update, World Bank Group

Pandemic Preparedness Financing - Status Update, World Bank Group

09/01/2019

.......investing in pandemic preparedness contributes to poverty alleviation, especially because infectious diseases tend to affect poor people disproportionately more than others. To succeed will require a multipronged effort to persuade policy makers and communities to take measures of the political economy, cultural environment, and embrace a “One Health” approach which recognizes human health as connected to that of animal health and the environment requiring multisectoral engagement when mobilizing and allocating resources. It will mean convincing decision-makers that they should not ignore what is important in lieu
of what is urgent and make preparedness a priority, persuade the private sector to invest in it, and do so in a sustainable manner.

Few natural hazards threaten more loss of life, economic disruption, and social disorder than large-scale disease outbreaks.
In 2003, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) killed 774 people. The 2009 H1N1 influenza outbreak
resulted in more than 18,000 deaths. Between December 2013 and April 2016, the Ebola epidemic generated more
than 28,616 cases and 11,310 deaths in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. Since 2012 and through end-February 2019,
Middle East respiratory syndrome has taken 823 lives and infected at least 2,374 people. The recent Zika outbreak
in the Americas has infected more than 1 million people. The ongoing Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of
Congo has accounted for more than 2,000 deaths (as of mid-September, 2019) since the Ministry of Health declared a
new outbreak of Ebola virus disease in North Kivu Province on 1 August 2018, and it shows no sign of abating.

The high death count and social disruption are not the only costs associated with pandemics; the financial and economic
damages are also devastating. The 2003 SARS epidemic led to a global economic loss of more than USD52
billion. Ebola wiped out recent development gains in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. By contrast, upgrading countries’
preparedness is relatively inexpensive and affordable; recent data from costing of the gaps in public health
capacities identified using Joint External Evaluations (JEEs) suggest that most countries would need to spend on
average USD1.69 per person per year to reach an acceptable level of epidemic preparedness. Besides its cost effectiveness,
investing in pandemic preparedness contributes to poverty alleviation, especially because infectious diseases
tend to after poor people disproportionately more than others.

To succeed will require a multipronged effort to persuade policy makers and communities to take measures of the
political economy, cultural environment, and embrace a “One Health” approach which recognizes human health as
connected to that of animal health and the environment requiring multisectoral engagement when mobilizing and
allocating resources. It will mean convincing decision-makers that they should not ignore what is important in lieu
of what is urgent and make preparedness a priority, persuade the private sector to invest in it, and do so in a sustainable
manner.

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