Médecins Sans Frontières 'The world is unprepared for a global health emergency' - Group says

The group urged wealthy nations to develop coordinated response plans and drugs to fight neglected diseases.

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play (Reuters)
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Medical charity group, Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) has said the global health system is unable to handle another mass epidemic like the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

It further urged  wealthy nations to develop coordinated response plans and drugs to fight neglected diseases.

Listing some of its challenges, the group said late and slow international response, the absence of solid leadership as well as the lack of treatments and vaccines are a recurrent scenario in many of today's health emergencies and are not unique to the Ebola epidemic.

In a statement released by Joanne Liu, the international president of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), she said "if a global pandemic were to strike tomorrow, there is still no well-resourced, coordinated international response in place to kick in"

She therefore urged the leaders of upcoming G7 meeting to take action to close the "gaping hole in our global health system" in order to avert the risk of losing thousands of lives to a new health emergency.

World leaders from Germany, the United States, Britain, France, Canada, Italy and Japan will meet in Germany next week, and are expected to discuss Ebola and neglected diseases, among other issues.

MSF said  too little funding goes into the development of new drugs and vaccines for neglected diseases, or those that have proven resistant to available treatments, while many of such medicines are priced out of reach.

The group identified drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) as one of the health emergencies for which new drugs, vaccines and diagnostics are urgently needed, adding that it treats thousands of people each year for drug-resistant TB while managing to cure only one in two.

 

 

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