Since the 2014 Ebola outbreak, many public- and private-sector leaders have experienced a need for improved management of global public health emergencies. The effects of the Ebola epidemic go well beyond the three hardest-hit countries and beyond the health sector. Education, child protection, commerce, transportation, and human rights have all suffered. The National Academy of Medicine has managed an independent, international commission on improving international management and response to outbreaks. As input to this effort, the Institute of Medicine convened four workshops in the summer of 2015 to inform the commission report. These workshops examined questions of resilient health systems, research and development of medical products, pandemic financing, and governance for global health. Each workshop gathered diverse perspectives on a range of policies, operations, and options for collaboration to improve the global health system.
The Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) Board on Health Sciences Policy gathered a multidisciplinary, multisector group of subject matter experts for Global Health Risk Framework: A Workshop on Resilient and Sustainable Health Systems to Respond to Global Infectious Disease Outbreaks. Conducted from August 5–7, 2015 in Accra, Ghana, this workshop focused on the characteristics of sustainable and resilient health systems that are responsive to emerging infectious disease threats, and optimal approaches to building these systems. The workshop further explored case studies from past outbreaks focusing on such areas as surveillance and information systems, workforce capacity, health care delivery, public health strengthening, and community and leadership engagement. While rapid and capable responses during an emergency are important, building lasting systems during the interepidemic period and focusing on the unique and persisting health issues in each community are key to preventing future global outbreaks. This document is a summary of the presentations and discussions that took place at the workshop.