Kevin Berry, assistant professor of economics at ISER, writes in The Hill about the importance of long-term investments in health capacity to prevent and quickly respond to disease outbreaks, such as the recent Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
In “Why an ‘America-First’ approach won’t work in Ebola pandemic,” Berry points out that travel and trade restrictions have limited effectiveness and may be counterproductive. However, by working within existing health structures and developing new capacity through collaborations with organizations such as Doctors Without Borders and the World Health Organization’s Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network, the U.S. can reduce the probability an outbreak reaches the United States. Building capacity abroad helps reduce the risk of epidemics reaching the United States, Berry writes, while investing in capacity at home works similar to insurance – the best policy is a combination of both. Berry is an author on seven peer-reviewed academic papers on prevention and infectious disease.
“U.S. Investment Important to Help Nations Develop Health Capacity, Respond to Outbreaks, Opinion Piece Says,” The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, July 30, 2019.