Synthesis Report by FP Analytics
FP Global Health Forum: Insights from leaders to prevent the next pandemic
Robust and resilient global health systems for the future of public health.
On June 28, 2022, Foreign Policy hosted its inaugural Global Health Forum to discuss the most pressing issues and trends in international public health. As the world continues to contend with the repercussions of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the forum amplified the leading voices in global health to shed light on key pathways to revitalize and strengthen health systems and explore how public, private, and civic leaders can better anticipate and address often-overlooked risks such as antibiotic resistance and biowarfare. This timely, hybrid event also provided an opportunity to reflect on the lessons learned from pandemics and epidemics to help inform preparedness investments and planning.
Watch highlights from FP’s 2022 Global Health Forum here, and read on for insights from the event:
This synthesis report was produced by FP Analytics with support from PhRMA and Guarding Against Pandemics.
Guarding Against Pandemics & Opening Fireside Chat with Dr. Margaret Hamburg
- Dr. Margaret “Peggy” Hamburg, Former Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Chair of the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) bio Advisory Group
- Moderator: Allison Carlson, Managing Director, FP Analytics and Events
- Comprehensive and robust investment in public health systems are needed to train workforces and to ensure that countries can recognize emerging threats and respond with appropriate care.
- Healthcare is a foreign policy issue. By investing internationally and domestically, the burden of infectious diseases can be reduced significantly.
- A stronger federal role in public health is necessary. Intergovernmental relations have generated a fragmented approach to the COVID-19 pandemic and limited the ability to have a strong, coherent, and coordinated response.
Expert insights from Dr. Hamburg:
- “COVID-19 has shed light on some of the gaps in public health systems on a domestic and on an international level. [In the United States,] we have a system that is under-resourced and under-appreciated. It’s also very fragmented. . . . We saw during COVID how that fragmentation undermined the ability to have a strong, coherent, consistent response. Some of those failures undermined public trust and confidence in public health institutions and public health leaders. . . . We must remember that no nation is an island, and if we’re going to be successful at addressing pandemic threats, we need to be internationally engaged.”
- “I think that [public health] is truly a foreign policy issue. Meaningful, enduring solutions are going to require health and security to be very much part of the foreign policy agenda, [specifically,] how all countries think about the investments they need to make domestically and their commitments to other nations to ultimately make the world a better, safer place.”
Ending the HIV/AIDS Pandemic by 2030
- Ambassador John N. Nkengasong, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and Special Representative for Global Health, U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)
- Moderator: Dr. Mayesha Alam, Vice President of Research, FP Analytics
- There are five commonalities, or “Five Ps’,” that characterize effective pandemic management: understanding the pathogen, understanding the population, implementing successful policies, engaging with the right politics, and participating in the right partnerships.
- Public trust in public health institutions is crucial. Vaccine manufacturing must be localized and organized at the community level to reduce vaccine hesitancy and the spread of misinformation.
- Emerging infectious diseases will define the fight against HIV/AIDs. The COVID-19 pandemic’s disruption of global health responses to the HIV/AIDs crisis will impact the most vulnerable: children, young girls, and adolescents.
Expert insights from Ambassador Nkengasong:
- “COVID-19 has taught [us that] we are more connected than we thought we were, and the inequities that exist in global health are even more profound within a country, between regions, and between systems, than we could have ever imagined. HIV continues to shed light on the inequities that exist in [the global health system].”
- “We have to try to decentralize vaccine manufacturing and see that as a security issue . . . and I say that deliberately, because when people see that their security commodities are produced in their backyards, there’s limited room for misinformation . . . so let’s democratize vaccine manufacturing and other health security commodities, bring it closer to the communities as much as possible.”
Post-Pandemic Priorities to Strengthen Health Systems
- Dr. Atul Gawande, Assistant Administrator for Global Health, USAID
- Moderator: Andrew Sollinger, Publisher and CEO, Foreign Policy
- Health equity is fundamental in the fight against COVID-19. Vaccination tools, rapid diagnostic tests, and oral antiviral medications have been successfully deployed to high-income countries but not low-income countries. Such disproportionate pandemic-related care will impact the global spread of the virus.
- Consistent public messaging and communication is necessary to curb the spread of COVID-19.
- The protection of reproductive and sexual rights is critical in advancing women’s health around the world. Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson, USAID is committed to advocating for the well-being of women and the protection of women’s rights.
Expert insights from Dr. Gawande:
- “Our goal is to turn COVID into a manageable respiratory endemic illness. We now have the tools to do that. Vaccination is probably the single most effective way you can protect yourself. We have successfully deployed the tools of vaccination to the high-income world, the upper-middle-income world, and the low-middle-income world, but the lowest-income world received less than 1 percent of the world’s vaccines, even though they’re a large part of the population.”
- “Equity means that the discoveries we’ve made that help people live that full life expectancy could be available to the world. Once again, the high-income parts of the world took up all the stock of what there is of these critical life-saving tools . . . but the [low-income] world is not protected. And that part of the world happens to be where the variants are coming from. That will hit us. You cannot fight a global pandemic with domestic policy only.”
Global Finance for Global Health Security—Investing in Future Pandemic Preparedness
- Dr. Katherine E. Bliss, Senior Fellow and Director, Immunizations and Health Systems Resilience, Global Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS).
- John Frank, Chief Public Affairs Officer, Illumina
- Loyce Pace, MPH, Assistant Secretary for Global Affairs (OGA), Department of Health and Human Services and G7 Liaison
- Moderator: Andrew Sollinger, Publisher and CEO, Foreign Policy
- Decades of investments and existing systems in the global health ecosystem helped pandemic preparedness prior to COVID-19. The pandemic showed that the mobilization of data collection and new technologies can be rapid and accessible, which can be applicable in preventing other infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis.
- Countries that invested in primary healthcare and immunization services prior to the pandemic were better able to respond effectively to COVID-19. In the future, the international community needs to ensure that low-income countries are able to invest in primary healthcare services, workforces, and the delivery of care at the community level.
- Private and public partnerships are key to the future of pandemic financing. The private-sector organizations and governments need to cooperate to advance global health systems and pathogen prevention, and globalize vaccine research and development (R&D) with broad representation and participation from various demographics.
- Dr. Katherine E. Bliss: “The proposed [World Bank] fund for pandemic preparedness and response can play an important role in raising the political profile and visibility of pandemic preparedness and response issues, incentivizing countries to prioritize, prepare, and develop their systems for response, and getting the needed funding to [those countries]. But it’s important to ensure that [the fund] is well funded. To be sustainable, all countries—wealthy and low-income—will need to engage and invest.”
- John Frank: “We need to prevent pathogens, and that requires us to be global in our perspective, and global in investing. The losses to the private sector and governments from this pandemic are enormous. [But,] this is a small investment to be making. We’re happy to pay for fire departments, we should be paying for pathogen prevention.”
- Loyce Pace: “There’s a lot of work happening among the private sector that gets missed in this conversation. There’s this element of reaching beyond the non-traditional sort of medical or health sectors such as tech data. We discovered the importance of engaging with legal actors during the pandemic, [specifically] vaccine sharing. Being creative about public-private partnerships will be really important, working the future.”
Applying Lessons Learned from COVID-19: How can we do better?
- Thomas B. Cueni, Director General, International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA)
- Moderator: Allison Carlson, Managing Director, FP Analytics and Events
- Immediate access to pathogens and genetic sequence data was tremendously important in the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Open borders are critical to bolstering the supply chain resiliency and ensuring that medicine and vaccine tools are widely distributed. Countries need to become less dependent on single-source suppliers by investing in the production and storage of tests and personal protective equipment (PPEs) in order to be well prepared for future COVID-19 outbreaks and other infectious diseases.
- Industry collaboration has developed in an unprecedented way, and the global community needs to recognize the importance of public- and private-sector cooperation. Moving forward, both sectors need to enhance transparency and data sharing to and work together to produce vaccines against multiple variants.
Expert insights from Thomas Cueni:
- “Healthcare systems even in industrialized countries weren’t quite as good as we expected. For lower-income countries, we still face the problem of absorption capacity, country readiness, getting the jabs from ports to arms. If you do not draw the lessons in terms of the importance of primary healthcare or strengthening health systems, we will be confronted with the same disaster next time around.”
- “Open borders are critical. One of the surprising features of the COVID pandemic was that, by and large, pharmaceutical supply chains, including those from China, held up remarkably. . . But what I see happening in companies, as well as by governments, is the thinking, “What do we need to do to become less dependent on single-source suppliers?” . . . I think there’s a realization that we need to be well prepared for the next pandemic.”
- “Industry is offering to prioritize and reserve an allocation of real-time production [of vaccines, treatments, and diagnostics] for distribution to priority populations in lower-income countries. But, not a single dose was allowed to leave the United States before July 21. . . . If you don’t have a social contract our offer to share upfront for the vulnerable part of what’s available, [an effective response] will not work, and we will fail again.”
Frontline Workers—Fortifying and Globalizing the Healthcare Workforce
- Avril Benoît, Executive Director, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières in the United States (MSF-USA)
- Nidhi Bouri, Acting Senior Director for Development, Global Health, and Humanitarian Response National Security Council, The White House
- Zipporah Iregi, Kenya-Based Nurse
- Janet Muriuki, Senior Director of Health Workforce Development, IntraHealth
- Moderator: Allison Carlson, Managing Director, FP Analytics and Events
- Investments in health professional education and systems that support healthcare workers are fundamental. Healthcare workers continue to be under significant stress and often operate under conditions of armed conflict and political violence. To protect their physical and mental well-being, countries need to champion conducive working environments, reasonable pay, and protective equipment.
- Health worker migration is a critical area for consideration and needs to be mitigated by policymakers and the wider global health community. Low-income countries, with weak support infrastructure, are losing health workers to high-income countries.
- Channels for healthcare workers to connect with community leaders, union leaders, and government officials need to be established. By organizing meetings and forging meaningful connections between healthcare workers and decision-makers, healthcare workers can better convey what support they require to continue their vital work.
- Avril Benoît: “In short, it’s an under-investment in health systems, in having trained medical workers, in having the supply chain be able to meet needs, and in having the availability of the resources to be needs-based. What we have seen over the course of this pandemic is that the wealthier countries have tended to keep things for themselves. . . . The under-resourced places where there is a need must be addressed, and they must be prioritized.”
- Nidhi Bouri: “What we’ve had during COVID is where almost every country in their necessary efforts to deal with an acute threat on hand have had to make tradeoffs within their health system, which means a redirection of services to deal with COVID and taking away from something else. Over time, that will contribute to significant backsliding in development gains. . . . Health security is centered in health systems, and the core of that are the people behind it who deliver the work.”
- Zipporah Iregi: “An investment in the healthcare worker is required to ensure that we are preparing ourselves for the pandemics in the future. Throughout COVID-19, we saw healthcare workers become innovative in their spaces of work. . . . Even in the situation of understaffing or underpay, we have seen healthcare workers rise to the occasion and provide solutions to implement the quality of care in their spaces.”
- Janet Muriuki: “One of the areas of investment really, is, “Can we have safe and well-being programs for our health workers?” We also must look at decent pay for our health workers, ensuring that they also have a conducive working environment that will support them in ensuring delivery of quality health services.”
The Elephant in the Room—Taking Bold Action to Finance Health Security
- Peter Sands, Executive Director, The Global Fund
- Moderator: Ravi Agrawal, Editor in Chief, Foreign Policy
- Eight years of HIV, Malaria, and Tuberculosis efforts were lost in one year of the COVID-19 pandemic. While The Global Fund is investing to fight these diseases, there have been significant reversals in progress as a result of the pandemic.
- Investment in health systems, with a deliberate focus on multi-pathogens, is vital in mitigating future pandemics. Instead of focusing on a particular disease, protective equipment and training must be provided to combat current pathogens and prepare for future ones.
- There are three lessons learned to build resilience and guard against future pandemics. First, there must be an emphasis on public health and primary healthcare investments. Second, governments must engage communities and empower people to protect themselves. Third, countries must respond with speed to protect communities and build trust.
- There must be an equitable definition of what causes a pandemic. As wealthier countries become less threatened by a disease, definitions of a pandemic change, which depletes a sense of urgency in combating the disease.
Expert insights from Peter Sands:
- “We will have new types of pathogens threatening us. The question is whether we allow them to become pandemics. The things you need are the capacities to prevent, to detect, and respond. It’s a combination of diagnostics, infection prevention and control systems, primary healthcare, community, health workers, supply chains. We need to invest smartly in those components of the health system, but doing it with a very deliberate, multi-pathogen perspective so that we’re not just narrowly focused on any particular disease, but we’re providing the equipment and training.”
- “When we talk about things like measures to make us better prepared for the next pandemics, we must think about how we do it in a way that maximizes the synergies between investments to fight existing diseases, and investments to fight future ones. That’s how we will ensure that this is a sustained effort as opposed to something that kind of lasts while the memory of COVID is fresh, but then quickly stagnates afterwards.”
Vaccines in Pandemics: What Have We Learned?
- Dr. Seth Berkley, CEO, Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance
- Moderator: Dr. Mayesha Alam, Vice President of Research, FP Analytics
- One of the biggest challenges in the COVID-19 pandemic is helping countries with poor healthcare systems. The global community must work on strengthening health systems for COVID-19 purposes and other health interventions.
- Vaccine hesitancy and the spread of misinformation are less common in developing countries than in wealthy countries. As several diseases are prevalent in developing countries, such as Malaria and AIDS, medical care and pandemic protection are more likely to be supported.
- The distribution of vaccine manufacturing could have been stronger. Multi-sector partnerships and interventions are critical in the fight against pandemics, specifically in developing an active program to examine the full life course of vaccines in all populations and demographics.
- Providing vaccines to countries in humanitarian crises is crucial. The global community must navigate the logistical difficulties of providing pandemic care to countries when unable to cooperate with governments.
Expert insights from Dr. Berkley:
- “One of the challenges we’ve had with this pandemic has been the misinformation in wealthy countries. That has been a challenge because today we’re all connected in one internet, one ecosystem of information. When you start having that misinformation, some of which was intentionally spread around the world, it does give pause to people in developing countries [who] have less vaccine hesitancy than wealthy countries.”
- “An important lesson learned is that the distribution of vaccine manufacturing could have been better. Africa struggled, particularly because they only have one [World Health Organization], pre-qualified vaccine manufacturer which is not producing very large volumes. There is now an active push to try to build a larger number of vaccine manufacturing facilities so that one can be ready for the next pandemic going forward.”
- “We are trying to create a system for providing doses in humanitarian settings, and that has not moved as quickly as we’d like. Trying to work through the system of indemnification and liability for humanitarian actors and trying to work through some of the difficult logistical challenges of how you get vaccines into places where you don’t have a state [and] you can’t work through governments, has been a challenge.”
Protecting Against Influenza: Ensuring Population Immunity Post-COVID
- Richard Mihigo, Director, COVID-19 Vaccine Delivery, Coordination, and Integration, Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance
- Dr. Andrew Pekosz, Professor and Vice Chair, W. Harry Feinstone Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University
- Dave Ross, Vice President, Commercial Operations, North America, Seqirus
- Moderator: Reena Ninan, Founder, Good Trouble Productions
- It is more important than ever for people to get vaccinated against the flu. Over the past two years, the of the virus increased the number of people who are susceptible to influenza. In turn, vulnerable populations, such as the elderly and the immunocompromised, face increased susceptibility to COVID-19 and influenza.
- Influenza immunization is crucial to limiting the strain on healthcare systems amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. If both COVID-19 and influenza patients have to compete for hospital beds, healthcare institutions will not have sufficient capacity or tools to combat an influx of both simultaneously. This is an ongoing challenge.
- Public communication of the COVID-19 vaccine should be replicated for the influenza vaccine. Messaging was successfully centered around prevention of serious illness and mortality, and not effectiveness, which encouraged more people to get vaccinated.
- The lessons learned from the response to the COVID-19 pandemic can be utilized to protect the world against future pandemic outbreaks. While it is difficult to predict what virus will emerge, the experience of working against several viruses and leveraging technology will increase capabilities and the speed at which those capabilities are implemented.
- Dr. Andrew Pekosz: “One of the things that’s important to understand is that COVID vaccines didn’t get worse. As time went on . . . the virus got better at infecting us. . . . Now, we’re seeing the COVID vaccines working in a similar way as we see with seasonal influenza. There’s a great opportunity now, going forward, to try to link those two things together, to provide even greater protection to the population.”
- Dave Ross: “I believe [equal messaging] is more important, because it’s in the interest of public health. If you have the wrong conversation, it creates an apathy amongst the general population about the need for immunization. [The public] need know why they’re doing it. If all they’re hearing is a message about the lack of effectiveness, then they’re not motivated. There’s no call to action. But if you’re talking about serious disease and the impact on that, I think it motivates in a different way.”
- Richard Mihigo: “One thing we have neglected is how to generate a lasting demand [for covid vaccines, influenza vaccines, and pandemic preparedness in general]. We have seen in many countries in the Southern Hemisphere that have not yet even introduced [an influenza] vaccine. . . . Close to 42 percent of the countries across the globe, particularly those who are in low middle income, do not have an influenza program in place. This needs to be in put in place so that we can build on those strong systems to protect for the future. Nobody can be safe if we are not all prepared and vaccinated.”
The Rise of Superbugs—Tackling Antibiotic and Antimicrobial Resistance
- Kevin Outterson, Executive Director, CARB-X
- Lori M. Reilly, Esq., Chief Operating Officer, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA)
- Dr. Ralf Sudbrak, Interim Secretariat Lead, Global AMR R&D Hub
- Moderator: Reena Ninan, Founder, Good Trouble Productions
- Combating Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) requires an urgent response. Experts predict that AMR will be the primary cause of death by 2050, globally.
- COVID-19 has exacerbated AMR. Throughout the pandemic, there have been drastic increases in secondary infections as a result of the virus, particularly among patients who are resistant to antibiotics.
- COVID-19 has raised awareness of AMR while simultaneously delaying its research and funding capacities. Private and public partnerships among industries, governments, academic institutions, and healthcare professionals are needed to invest in basic research and preclinical development of antibiotics.
- The U.S. has an opportunity to become a pioneer in tackling AMR. By signing the Pasteur Act, which establishes a program to develop antimicrobial innovations to target the most dangerous pathogens, this will pave the way for industries in other countries to invest in AMR and R&D.
- Kevin Outterson: “We have the opportunity to prevent something that we know is coming. There is no doubt what is happening with bacterial evolution. . . . 1.27 million people are dying from drug-resistant bacteria [in 2019 – according to the Lancet report published in Jan 2022]. This is a global health issue of the first tier that we need to recognize.”
- Lori M. Reilly: “We don’t need just two to four new antibiotics; we need a pipeline of antibiotics, because we could find ourselves at a point in time where routine surgeries present significant risk. It’s almost unimaginable when you think about it, but it demonstrates the urgency and the absolute imperative of public-private partnerships. We showed with COVID that we can work together, and we can work in partnership. We absolutely need to do the same here.”
- Dr. Ralf Sudbrak: “Antimicrobial resistance is an ongoing pandemic. It is not a silent pandemic anymore. We must understand that if you do not have functioning antibiotics, we do not have modern medicine anymore. We can’t do chemotherapy, we can’t do hip replacements, we can’t do Cesarean sections. All these routine surgeries are not possible without functioning antibiotics. . . . We need 10 to 15 years to develop one antibiotic, and we probably need 10 to 15 new antibiotics within the next 10 years. That means, we have to fill the clinical pipeline for drug development [and] push out incentives.”
Mobilizing a Global Community: Cancer Care Beyond the Pandemic
- Dave Fredrickson, Executive Vice-President, Oncology Business Unit, AstraZeneca
- Dr. T. Peter Kingham, Director of Global Cancer Disparities Initiatives, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
- Gilberto de Lima Lopes Jr., Medical Director for International Programs & Associate Director for Global Oncology, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer the University of Miami; Editor-in-Chief, JCO Global Oncology; & Director, Union International for Cancer Control
- Moderator: Jayne O’Donnell, Co-Founder & CEO, Youthcast Media Group and Former USA Today Healthcare Policy Reporter
- The COVID-19 pandemic reduced testing rates for cancer screenings and diagnosis by about 40 percent across the six major cancer types. As healthcare systems became increasingly overwhelmed, and people were fearful of contracting COVID-19 in hospitals, fewer people were seeking and receiving cancer screenings.
- COVID-19 shone a spotlight on health inequity in cancer care. Telemedicine has been less accessible for Black and Hispanic patients as well as women, compared to non-minority patients, underscoring the need for greater representation in clinical trials.
- Global partnerships can play a role in facilitating high-quality cancer care. It is crucial to improve early diagnosis, the accessibility of health systems, financial coverage, and the development of new treatments.
- Dave Fredrickson: “One of the most important lessons that came out of the pandemic is public-private partnerships. . . . Innovation is a team sport. Treating cancer is a team sport. This is about getting radiology, pathology, nurses, medical, oncology, surgeons, [and] social workers all together to be able to deliver [care]. If we’re going to tackle this, it is about bringing together various people who are able within a community to affect that change, to be able to make that happen.”
- Dr. T. Peter Kingham: “It’s very difficult to extrapolate data from the U.S. and other high-income countries and assume that we know this works for cancer and extrapolate these results and apply them in low-middle-income countries. We have seen, and others have seen endlessly, that if research isn’t done in the region of interest, oftentimes it’s applied inappropriately.”
- Gilberto de Lima Lopes Jr.: “Over the last ten years, we have seen global international organizations [such as] the United Nations and the private [sector] showing that we need to focus on cancer and other non-communicable disease among low-income countries. . . . But we still don’t see the levels of investment locally that we need for this to improve. . . . We need partnerships. We cannot make a dent in the situation we have today without bringing all stakeholders in a multi-sectoral approach together.”
Preparing for the Next Big Threat—Global Networks to Promote Health Security
- Gabe Bankman-Fried, Founder & Director, Guarding Against Pandemics
- Dr. Hillary H. Carter, Deputy Senior Director for Global Health Security and Biodefense, National Security Council Staff, Executive Office of the President
- Colonel Matthew Hepburn, Senior Advisor, Office of Science and Technology Policy, The White House
- Moderator: Jack Detsch, Pentagon and National Security Reporter, Foreign Policy
- Biological threats are a risk to U.S. national security. The Biden administration plans to announce a new national biodefense strategy focusing on global health security, pandemic preparedness, and the modernization of infrastructure for public health.
- Strong governmental leadership is required to prepare for future threats. A global pandemic requires a global response through international and intergovernmental cooperation, partnerships, and support of multilateral institutions, such as the World Health Organization (WHO).
- Vaccine diplomacy is vital. The spread of disinformation needs to be contained by establishing on-the-ground public health engagement and communication in communities.
- Biowarfare is an emerging threat, and an engineered pandemic is possible. However, the global community has developed infrastructure, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, to defend against such threats. Continued government investment is necessary for effective prevention of biowarfare, including early and rapid detection of outbreaks and to slow infection rates.
- Gabe Bankman-Fried: “It is not the realm of science fiction to say that it’s possible to produce a scary virus. Unfortunately, the technology required to do so is getting cheaper and more readily available to a lot of people across the world, including bad actors, and we know that bioweapons programs exist. Despite how foolhardy they are as a concept for warfare, the possibility to produce something that is as contagious as COVID, but potentially much more lethal, is very real.”
- Dr. Hillary H. Carter: “Biological threats are enduring. They didn’t start with a COVID pandemic, and they won’t end with the COVID pandemic . . . and it’s not just naturally occurring biological threats. It’s also the potential for accidental threats and the risks that are associated there, and the potential for biological warfare. We have to maintain this focus on biological threats.”
- Colonel Matthew Hepburn: “Our role [in] government should be to enable private-sector innovation to solve complex problems. . . . If we can help them translate that into public good and the good of our society, then we win. What that means, though, as the government, we’re looking at how can we innovate in the manufacturing process so that if you can make a vaat the highest quality standard, [then] make it faster, make it more distributed on a global basis. What we’re trying to do is see if there is innovation that we can spark for pandemic preparedness that leads to uptake that can transform the entire industry.”
Strengthening Governance for Future Global Health Security
- Dr. Anthony Fauci, Chief Medical Advisor to the President and Director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).
- Moderator: Tal Alroy, Executive Producer, FP Live
- The global health community, with partners in the public and private sectors, needs to mitigate public health mis- and disinformation. Worsening mis- and disinformation surrounding COVID-19 have generated vaccine and mask hesitancy.
- HIV research has contributed in a profound way to the success of COVID-19 research and vaccine development. The structured based vaccine design used for HIV was replicated to establish a highly successful vaccine for COVID-19.
- Stringent COVID-19 lockdowns are only effective when they have a purpose in mind. If lockdowns are not utilized for a purposeful initiative—for example, to slow the virus and adopt a rigorous vaccine campaign—they will not be successful.
Expert insights from Dr. Fauci:
- “We [are] beset with a great degree of divisiveness in our society, in which the proper implementation of very well tried and true public health practices has been put aside because of political and ideological differences. . . . If ever there’s a lesson to be learned for the future, is that when you are in the middle of a historic pandemic—that has already killed one million Americans—that it is not the time to be at odds with each other. It’s a time to be pulling together against the common enemy, which is the virus.”
- “If you are going to lock down as stringently as [China] did, you’ve got to do it with a purpose in mind. . . . If you lock down only for the sake of locking down, sooner or later, the virus is going to enter or re-enter into your country. A lockdown might be fine, but make sure you utilize it for a purpose. And the purpose should be to get a very aggressive vaccination campaign to all the citizens, particularly the vulnerable ones.”
Strategizing for an Equitable Future
- Dr. Alaa Murabit, United Nations High-Level Commissioner on Health Employment and Economic Growth; UN SDG Global Advocate; and PAC Health Director, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
- Moderator: Amelia Lester, Executive Editor, Foreign Policy
- The degradation of women’s rights represents a “silent pandemic.” There have been a surge in violent, misogynist rhetoric and the , and a pattern established between the rise of autocratic regimes and the prevention of women’s access to reproductive healthcare.
- Investments in women’s health and in women’s reproductive rights are investments not only in health equity, but also in stability, economic growth, and security. One key indicator for a country to enter conflict, or remain mired in conflict, is the degradation of women’s rights.
- There is no universal definition of health. Stakeholders need to respect and appreciate the importance of local definitions for health, particularly at a community level, as an effective way to advance health equity and dispel misinformation.
Expert insights from Dr. Murabit:
- “The most effective way we can dispel misinformation and advance health equity is by going to people that live there, stay there, are sustainable leaders in that community and say, ‘How can we work with you? How can we be in service of you? How can we work together to advance these priorities?’ In the same way we want to meet governments where they are, we need to meet people where they are.”
- “If we’re really talking about elevating and amplifying the agency of women, we have to start talking about what we’re doing before they even get to those positions to be able to hold power. And for me, that’s girls’ education, and that’s women’s reproductive rights.”
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