An important read by Laurie Garrett about the reforms needed after the West Africa Ebola crisis.


Can the Global Public Health System Learn From Its Ebola Mistakes?
By Laurie Garrett, Senior Fellow for Global Health
Foreign Policy

The worst of the Ebola crisis in West Africa has passed. This week the three countries where the epidemic was the worst recorded no new cases of the disease for the first time since the outbreak began in March 2014. In a few months, the World Health Organization will officially declare it over in Sierra Leone and Guinea, as it already has for Liberia. But the repercussions of the epidemic, criticisms of the WHO’s handling of the situation, and calls for radical change in the global health landscape are beginning to pour forth and will continue for months to come. Sadly, it appears likely that no coherent scheme for saving lives in the next epidemic will emerge. Rather, the din of pontificating and criticism will resound in a sort of global anarchy. Little will actually change.

Every crisis begets soul-searching, and the global public health world is as prone to self-analysis as any other professional arena. But what really matters isn’t the process of airing discontents and offering suggestions for improvement. More important is what comes next.

Famously, in the United States, the bipartisan 9/11 Commission dedicated months to analyzing what went wrong when Washington failed to recognize and prepare for the al Qaeda terrorist threat. The commission’s final report was praised by leaders of both political parties, across the spectrum of American media, and throughout law enforcement and intelligence communities. Its roadmap for reforms of the American intelligence and emergency response apparatus garnered huzzahs from nearly all opinion leaders in the country, as well as those of allied nations.

Read the full article here.