Context to Research
◆ COVID-19, health security, pandemic preparedness and capability responses have taken center stage in global health with increasing urgency. This widespread epidemic, known as pandemic, was preceded by more recent ones that were a little less widespread or devastating in terms of losses of human lives and financial resources. A few of the more recent were the Ebola in West Africa in 2014 mostly concentrated in three countries, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012, and Swine flu pandemic in 2009
◆ A myriad of factors influences the increased emergence and spread of new viral epidemics or pandemics, many of them caused by zoonotic diseases which originate in animals and cross over to humans. Among those factors are globalization with its increased movement of goods, services and people across the world; climate change with change of land use changes resulting in greater contact between humans and wildlife.
◆ The emerging epidemics and associated deaths, more than 3.5 million to date often reveal insufficient or suboptimal investments in the public health systems and their capacities required to prevent, detect, and respond to outbreaks. Meanwhile, existing infectious diseases, especially HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria, continue to pose considerable threats to the lives and livelihoods of millions across the world.
◆ The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, created in 2002 has supported countries in fighting those diseases. The gains from the two-decades fight are threatened by COVID-19. The ongoing discussions for the Global Fund post-2022 strategy allude to a prominent place for pandemic preparedness and capabilities responses
◆ This policy research presents evidence-informed recommendations describing how African countries could maximize investments in pandemic preparedness and capability responses for the next pandemic. These recommendations were synthesized from a scoping review of health security frameworks and interviews with stakeholders.