ViaThe Guardian: Live Q&A 14 August, 1-3pm BST: how can we contain epidemics earlier? Click through for many links and to learn how to join the live chat next Thursday. Excerpt:
The Ebola epidemic that is still spreading across west Africa was recently labelled an international health emergency by the World Health Organisation. The first cases of Ebola were diagnosed in Guinea six months earlier though. Could the outbreak have been contained much sooner?
While there is no cure for Ebola, professor Peter Piot, who co-discovered the disease in 1976, says experimental drugs could have more widely used.
"African governments should be allowed to make informed decisions about whether or not to use these products - for example to protect and treat healthcare workers who run especially high risks of infection."
But Ebola is just one disease for which the global health community has seemed ill-prepared. Recent Cholera outbreaks in Cameroon and Haiti, as well as the constant threat of diseases in refugee camps from Jordan to Burma reflect the multiple pressures on limited resources on manpower. It would seem that epidemics are taking humanitarian response to the brink.
So what should governments, humanitarians and health workers do?
When previous epidemics such as the Sars virus and bird flu were declared international health emergencies, many governments were criticised for overreacting or underreacting. What lessons can we learn from then about how to manage disease outbreaks today? How can resillience go from being a buzzword to a practical reality? And how do we challenge existing systems and structures that aren't working?
Join our expert panel on Thursday, 14 August, from 1-3pm BST, to discuss how we can build resillience in humanitarian response.