Global Health Security in an Era of Explosive Pandemic Potential
Asian Journal of WTO & International Health Law and Policy, Vol. 14, No. 1, pp. 267-285, March 2019
19 Pages Posted: 30 Apr 2019
Date Written: March 29, 2019
Pandemics pose a significant risk to security, economic stability, and development. Annualized expected losses from pandemics are estimated at $60 billion per year. Despite the certainty and magnitude of the threat, the global community has significantly underestimated and underinvested in preparing for pandemic threats.
We cannot wait or continue with the status quo, in which we pay attention to infectious disease threats only when they are at their peak and then are complacent and remain vulnerable until the next major outbreak. To reinforce and sustain international focus, funding, and action, it is crucial that pandemics rise to the level of “high politics,” becoming standing agenda items for political actors.
I make the case for fundamental reform of the international system to safeguard global health security. I propose an action agenda for rapid detection and response to dangerous infectious diseases. If my action plan were adopted, it would safeguard the global population far better against infectious disease threats. It would reap dividends in security, development, and productivity.
Keywords: global health, security, law, ethics, infectious diseases, pandemics
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