Policy and Science for Global Health Security: Shaping the Course of International Health.


The global burden of infectious diseases and the increased attention to natural, accidental, and deliberate biological threats has resulted in significant investment in infectious disease research. Translating the results of these studies to inform prevention, detection, and response efforts often can be challenging, especially if prior relationships and communications have not been established with decision-makers. Whatever scientific information is shared with decision-makers before, during, and after public health emergencies is highly dependent on the individuals or organizations who are communicating with policy-makers. This article briefly describes the landscape of stakeholders involved in information-sharing before and during emergencies. We identify critical gaps in translation of scientific expertise and results, and biosafety and biosecurity measures to public health policy and practice with a focus on One Health and zoonotic diseases. Finally, we conclude by exploring ways of improving communication and funding, both of which help to address the identified gaps. By leveraging existing scientific information (from both the natural and social sciences) in the public health decision-making process, large-scale outbreaks may be averted even in low-income countries.

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