Pandemic Preparedness and Response

A community health volunteer picking up supplies during a seasonal malaria chemoprevention campaign

Our COVID-19 Solutions: Pandemic Preparedness, Response, and Recovery

COVID-19 has tested the resilience of countries, communities, and health systems. It has revealed dangerous gaps in critical health system functions, from preventing infections in health facilities to ensuring reliable supply chains for personal protective equipment and vaccines. It has brutally exposed inequities within and between countries and put health leaders to an urgent, all-consuming test. In both the countries where we work and through the global health coalitions we are active members of, we are supporting and advocating for investments in primary health care systems, policies, and leadership and engaging governments and communities to demand accountability.

Prioritizing Local Readiness

While the science and know-how to detect outbreaks exist, adequate leadership and coordination for pandemic preparedness and response remain a major challenge. Diseases start and spread at the household and community levels, so it is vital for local communities to have the tools and culture—maintained through training, drills, supply maintenance, and ongoing review even during non-event periods—to prevent the spread.   

By integrating pandemic preparedness with all health systems functions, we support our country partners in fostering a state of constant readiness and local agency, equipping local leaders, communities, and health care providers with the knowledge, skills, and plans to take immediate action. Our programs build capacity at all levels of a health system to: 

  • Strengthen disease surveillance systems 
  • Reinforce strong national public health systems and workforces  
  • Introduce and scale new tools to prevent and control infectious diseases 
  • Support local leadership in fostering a state of constant readiness even if help isn’t available right away from national or international levels