Last week, the Global Health Security Index was released and it examined whether countries across the world are prepared to deal with epidemic or pandemic. The topic was thrust into the spotlight in 2014 when an Ebola outbreak devastated parts of West Africa, killing more than 10,000 people. That prompted many other countries to boost their levels of preparation.
The index analyzes those preparation levels by focusing on whether countries have the proper tools in place to deal with large scale outbreaks of disease. Measured on a scale of 0 to 100 where 100 is the highest level of preparedness, the United States came first, followed by the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. Unsurprisingly, higher income countries tended to record better scores in the index.
3 pillars to strengthen Africa's public health systems
Establishing a new public health order is vital in Africa as weak health systems provide a breeding ground for the growth and spread of dangerous pathogens.