Advancing global and national health security: lessons from SARS and MERS to Ebola and Zika

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Public seminar announcement

Over the past decade, the world has faced a series of global health crises involving contagious diseases with pandemic potential.

From novel influenzas (H5N1 and H1N1), coronaviruses (SARS, and MERS) to the Ebola and Zika viruses, governments and international organisations have struggled to act quickly and decisively.

The consequences loom large in both economic and human terms.  Modelling by the Institute of Medicine suggests that the economic costs of a 21st-century pandemic could exceed USD$60 billion annually, placing pandemic disease in a category similar to war, terrorism and financial crises.

Despite this, global investments in risk mitigation frameworks for pandemic disease remain inadequate and leave countries exposed to significant disruption, financial harm, and avoidable mortality.

Professor Lawrence Gostin, the Linda and Timothy O’Neill Professor of Global Health Law, Georgetown University, Washington DC, has served on two high-level commissions inquiring into the lessons learned from the 2015 West Africa Ebola epidemic.  These are the Commission on a Global Health Risk Framework (National Academy of Sciences, supported by WHO, World Bank, Gates Foundation, and Rockefeller Foundation), and the Independent Panel on the Global Response to Ebola (Harvard University/London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine).

Professor Gostin and colleagues will speak on global and national legal frameworks for responding to contagious epidemics at Sydney Law School on Wed 20 July, 6.00-7.30pm.  Click here for further details.

In this seminar, Professor Gostin will reflect on lessons learned from the several expert commissions into the Ebola epidemic and global health risk framework.  This will be followed by short responses from three Australian experts in the field.

In his keynote presentation, Professor Gostin will argue that the lessons from past epidemics point to three key drivers of change: national health systems, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and UN System reform, and accelerated research and development.

ach of these drivers of change requires system-wide accountability mechanisms to improve their performance and to reduce the human and economic cost of future epidemics.

To book online for this seminar, click here.

Are you interested in studying health law?  Sydney Law School offers a Graduate Diploma and a Masters degree in health law that is open to qualified applicants.  For further details, click here, and here.

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