Without pandemic preparedness infectious disease outbreaks can swiftly turn into global threats.
No single country is in a position – on its own – to protect itself against international public health threats. With over two billion passengers travelling by air annually, disease outbreaks which go unnoticed or are not stopped at their point of origin can spread to multiple locations. The emergence of SARS in 2003, the subsequent outbreaks of ‘avian flu’, ‘swine flu’ and Ebola are all reminders of our shared vulnerability to disease and newly arising health threats. Twelve years before COVID-19, most scientists prophetically agreed that the emergence of another, potentially severe pandemic of influenza was only a matter of time.
‘Pandemic preparedness’ refers to a country’s state of readiness to prevent, detect, report and respond to disease outbreaks. Being prepared requires country-level preparedness based on a resilient national health system, on the one hand, and transparent and trust-based communication and collaboration at an international level to deal with emergent outbreaks, on the other.
Supporting pandemic preparedness of partner countries to strengthen the resilience of their health systems and to protect their populations is a priority of German development cooperation, as reflected in the articles, events and studies presented on this page.