Capacity-Strengthening Key for Emerging Disease Surveillance

Issued: Thu, 13 Jul 2017 16:38:00 BST

In a newly published review in Science, a University of Glasgow One Health research team led by Dr Jo Halliday outlines the role of locally relevant capacity strengthening for emerging disease surveillance.

Emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) are of growing concern around the world. Recent outbreaks of Ebola virus disease and H5N1 Influenza have highlighted the need for well-developed detection and response networks that can quickly identify and contain emerging disease threats. The capacity to identify and respond to such threats is often weakest in Low and Middle Income Countries (LMICs).

In this review, Dr Halliday and colleagues outline an approach to EIDs that not only safeguards against these new and emerging threats, but also places the needs of LMICs front and centre. By developing local capacity for health issues that are of local importance, the skills and facilities to identify and respond to emerging threats are both enhanced. Critically, this approach also addresses existing inequalities in health systems, leading to improved public health and progress toward broader development goals.

According to Dr Halliday, who is currently leading a project on zoonotic diseases, “Developing disease surveillance capacity that supports local needs and allows us to improve our responses to emerging infectious diseases is an important step forward in improving global disease control. Through a focus on locally relevant disease threats, we can build sustainable and resilient systems that improve the lives of people in developing countries and protect people around the world from emerging disease threats.”