Half the world is unprepared for epidemics

Half the world is unprepared for epidemics

Ebola shocked and terrified the world – but four years later, over half the world is not ready to combat epidemics. A new website maps out who is ready and who isn’t.

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Resolve to Save Lives, an initiative of Vital Strategies, has developed a website www.preventepidemics.org to display each country’s ability to find, stop and prevent epidemics, and to empower people who want to make their community safer.

The ReadyScore uses existing data from the Joint External Evaluation (JEE), a rigorous and transparent assessment developed by the World Health Organization after the 2014 Ebola epidemic to help countries find and close preparedness gaps. The ReadyScore consolidates key information from the JEE into an easy-to-understand number, identifies what countries are doing well to prepare for the next health threat, and what they need to improve.

South Africa has scored 62% for overall preparedness, with some obvious strengths and weaknesses:

This is how prepared we are to prevent epidemics: