Strengthening National Health Systems' Capacity to Respond to Future Global Pandemics

McMaster Health Forum: Hamilton, Ontario, November 2013.

Posted: 1 Feb 2016

See all articles by Steven Hoffman

Steven Hoffman

York University; Harvard University

Francois-Pierre Gauvin

Independent

John Norman Lavis

Institute for Work and Health, Toronto

Jennifer Edge

Independent

Date Written: November 4, 2013

Abstract

Effective pandemic governance is more important now than ever before. Especially since pandemic risk factors such as globalization, urbanization, international trade, and rapid population growth are contributing to its fast spread. In today's world, pandemics can spread within hours across continents instead of years making the consequences of such an issue catastrophic. Pandemic response requires that health systems build adequate capacity to support and maintain well-coordinated pandemic governance architecture. However, key challenges exist to do so, some of these are:

(1) pandemics challenge conventional systems of governance;

(2) timely information sharing and evidence-informed decision-making is difficult;

(3) domestic and international partners often encounter coordination problems;

(4) public health and animal health perspectives can be difficult to reconcile;

(5) antimicrobial resistance represents a growing threat; and

(6) risk and protective factors for pandemics.

To properly address these issues countries need to take a comprehensive approach consisting of three main elements:

(1) enhance national health systems' ability to detect pandemic risk factors, identify the causal pathogens, characterize emerging diseases and monitor their evolution;

(2) strengthen the capacity of national policymakers and stakeholders and the public to respond to the variability of pandemics; and

(3) strengthen the global pandemic governance system.

Achieving meaningful change in this area will not be without its challenges, however any change will require a comprehensive and truly global approach.

Keywords: pandemic, global, globalization, urbanization, international, trade, goverance, pathogen, coordination, public, health

Suggested Citation

Hoffman, Steven and Gauvin, Francois-Pierre and Lavis, John Norman and Edge, Jennifer, Strengthening National Health Systems' Capacity to Respond to Future Global Pandemics (November 4, 2013). McMaster Health Forum: Hamilton, Ontario, November 2013. . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2702480

Steven Hoffman (Contact Author)

York University ( email )

Global Strategy Lab
4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada
+1-416-736-2100 ext 33364 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.globalstrategylab.org/people/steven-hoffman

Harvard University ( email )

Department of Global Health & Population
665 Huntington Avenue, Building 1, Room 1104
Boston, MA 02115
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/steven-hoffman/

Francois-Pierre Gauvin

Independent ( email )

No Address Available

John Norman Lavis

Institute for Work and Health, Toronto ( email )

250 Bloor St. E., Suite 702
Toronto ON M4W 1E6
Canada

Jennifer Edge

Independent ( email )

No Address Available

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