Workshop on Resilient and Sustainable Health Systems to Respond to Global Infectious Disease Outbreaks

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Background

Over the past decade or more, infectious disease outbreaks including those associated with Ebola, SARS, H1N1, MERS-CoV, H7N9, and Chikungunya, have demonstrated that the international community, including governmental and non-governmental entities, do not have adequate infrastructure in place to mitigate the systemic burdens that result from these large scale public health emergencies. Countless lives have been lost and billions of dollars have been spent responding to these outbreaks. These events highlighted the need for enhanced and sustainable capacity to plan for and respond to global infectious diseases and other public health emergencies, as well as an augmented framework for identifying and effectively responding to the contemporary challenges and realities that these emergencies present.

This workshop will specifically focus on the characteristics of and optimum approaches to building sustainable and resilient health systems that are responsive to emerging infectious disease threats and other public health emergencies. The workshop will inform the commission prior to the final release of their report by gathering diverse perspectives of informed stake-holders, characterizing needs and gaps in current approaches, documenting key successes and lessons learned, highlighting opportunities and potential approaches to improve the global system, and considering indicators and metrics that may be used to guide and assess the resilience of health systems to future outbreaks and emergencies.

Workshop Objectives

  • Synthesize lessons learned from past case studies about potential threats posed by fragile health systems and ways to restore and maintain health system resilience.
  • Discuss the key priority areas of Surveillance, Workforce Capacity, Public Health and Health Care Infrastructure, Community Engagement, and Leadership and Management, and their integration to achieve resilient health systems in countries.
  • Discuss varying types of cross-sector partner engagement in building sustainable, resilient health systems and how these partners are incorporated into the health care delivery system.
  • Consider the value proposition for sustainable, resilient health systems, and the effect that can be seen on the economic sector nationally and globally due to poor health systems.
  • Deliberate on suggestions and opportunities to build and maintain a sustainable, resilient health system for times of emergency, especially in resource-limited settings.
  • Synthesize best practices and recommendations for translating research and lessons learned into public health action for holistic health system resilience.

For more information, contact Jack Herrmann at jherrmann@nas.edu.

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