With lessons learned from COVID-19, a world-leading expert on pandemic preparedness proposes a pragmatic plan urgently needed for the future of global health security.
The COVID-19 pandemic revealed how unprepared the world was for such an event, as even the most sophisticated public health systems failed to cope. We must have far more investment and preparation, along with better detection, warning, and coordination within and across national boundaries. In an age of global pandemics, no country can achieve public health on its own. Health security planning is paramount.
Lawrence O. Gostin has spent three decades designing resilient health systems and governance that take account of our interconnected world, as a close advisor to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and many public health agencies globally. Global Health Security addresses the borderless dangers societies now face, including infectious diseases and bioterrorism, and examines the political, environmental, and socioeconomic factors exacerbating these threats. Weak governance, ineffective health systems, and lack of preparedness are key sources of risk, and all of them came to the fore during the COVID-19 crisis, even—sometimes especially—in wealthy countries like the United States. But the solution is not just to improve national health policy, which can only react after the threat is realized at home. Gostin further proposes robust international institutions, tools for effective cross-border risk communication and action, and research programs targeting the global dimension of public health.
Creating these systems will require not only sustained financial investment but also shared values of cooperation, collective responsibility, and equity. Gostin has witnessed the triumph of these values in national and international forums and has a clear plan to tackle the challenges ahead. Global Health Security therefore offers pragmatic solutions that address the failures of the recent past, while looking toward what we know is coming. Nothing could be more important to the future health of nations.
Gostin draws on the lessons of AIDS, SARS, Ebola, and the COVID-19 pandemic to lay out a roadmap for global health security, making a powerful and persuasive case for how the principles of solidarity, equity, and justice must guide the international community in preparing for and responding to the health crises of the future.
Global Health Security is invaluable, drawing critical lessons from the world’s epic struggle with COVID-19, and looking far beyond. Gostin incisively analyses future threats, from superbugs and antimicrobial resistance to bioterrorism, and charts a better course through global solidarity and enlightened self-interest. If you read only one book on global health this year, make it this one.
The world has learned valuable lessons from infectious disease outbreaks. Yet the power of lessons is in their use. In this book, Gostin provides a sweeping view of what is needed to avert disaster in the future. The crucial question is: will people read and act on his suggestions?
We are entering an age of pandemics, one marked with more frequent disease outbreaks and increasingly greater threats to our social order. There is no one better than Gostin to connect the dots across outbreaks, laying out how climate change, economic development, and globalization have created new risks. But more than sounding the alarm, he brilliantly charts a path forward for how nations and indeed the world can be better prepared to meet these threats head on.
As a leading public health legal scholar and global health activist, Gostin has influenced the course of every major public health crisis of our time, from HIV/AIDS, to SARS, Ebola, and now COVID-19. Global Health Security draws on those important experiences but looks forward, charting a clear and compelling framework to assess future biological threats and effectively address them. Masterfully insightful.
Discouraged but inspired by COVID‑19, [Gostin’s] wide-ranging study analyzes the science and politics of past and present global disease, with hypothetical exercises about a new influenza, bioterrorism, and cholera. He recommends steps to reduce pandemic risk, such as increasing surveillance of animal pathogens and their movement. Above all, he calls for a ‘new politics,’ free from nationalistic populism.
[A] comprehensive and detailed blueprint for responding to global health crises. Gostin casts a wide net, addressing the overuse of antibiotics, climate change, and the lack of universal health coverage…Gostin goes further to explain how lessons from Covid-19 can remake society to be better prepared for future health threats.
A comprehensive blueprint for global reforms.
- 2022, Winner of the PROSE Awards
- 352 pages
- 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
- Harvard University Press
From this author
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