Gates Foundation head of global health talks WHO, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The spread of Zika across the Americas, on the heels of the devastation caused by the Ebola virus in West Africa in 2015, has many wondering how global health institutions are adapting to combat pandemics.

Trevor Mundel, president of global health at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said “a lot needs to be done” to prepare now for the next global crisis. From rethinking the World Health Organization’s role and funding to embracing health innovations such as the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Mundel, who oversees the Gates Foundation’s work in vaccine and diagnostic innovation, is looking for new ideas.

Devex spoke with Mundel on the sidelines of the 2016 Grand Challenges annual meeting in London last month. Below is our conversation, lightly edited for length and clarity.

How do you feel the Ebola response has shaped the response to Zika? How do you balance funding for pandemic response and longer-term work on health systems?

One thing that comes up with Zika following Ebola is how do we have a better system for pandemic response? Yes, people are more focused on this issue, but nevertheless there’s a lot that needs to be done in the event that we have a real global pandemic and would need to respond to that.

Source: Devex (link opens in a new window)

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