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Group highlights effective remedies against infectious diseases

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A Group, Resolve to Save Lives, has released a digital report, “Epidemics that Didn’t Happen.” The report is designed to show how an outbreak can be altered when a country invests in swift strategic action.

According to the report, Epidemics that Didn’t Happen was developed to highlight how investing in and prioritising preparedness and response systems, such as community vaccination and vaccination programmes, can save millions of lives and trillions of dollars.

It read: “As governments contend with the ongoing devastation of COVID-19—and look for lessons for the next pandemic, the report serves as a call to action to global leaders. The world can learn from the experience that African governments have had with infectious diseases including COVID-19, Ebola and monkey pox.”

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The case studies in the report showed that devastating human and economic losses can be avoided with modest investments, improved health systems, and better coordination and communication by determined leaders who put structures in place to find, stop and prevent infectious disease outbreaks before they spread.

It noted that although the story of containing COVID-19 has largely been one of failure, countries like Vietnam, Mongolia and Senegal mounted effective responses that reinforce and act upon lessons drawn from earlier outbreaks.

The case studies illustrate different aspects of effective public health programs, including how Kenya controlled a deadly anthrax outbreak, how protective actions stopped yellow fever in Brazil, how Uganda detected cases of Ebola at the border and Nigeria’s approach to containing monkey pox.

Others are how Senegal saved lives through government action and early testing, how an early strategic response in Mongolia averted a COVID-19 nightmare, Africa’s cohesive continent-wide response to the pandemic and investment in public health saves lives: Vietnam’s COVID-19 response is proof.

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