COVID-19 Epidemic and Health Systems

COVID-19 Epidemic and Health Systems

COVID-19 Epidemic and Health Systems

Can countries keep up with the spread of COVID-19?

Dr Gilles Poumerol, Former Acting Chief, International Health Regulations Secretariat and Global Functions (IHR), World Health Organisation and Associate Fellow with our Global Fellowship Initiative was interviewed by Click here for the interview.

The world is now responding to COVID 19 to prevent it from becoming a broader global crisis. As new infections and deaths mount every day, and the fear of global spread and pandemic is growing, how do governments organisations or communities manage? 

In an interview with SwissInfo, Dr Poumerol says "All countries must equip themselves with detection and alert systems for new viruses." He continues, “COVID-19 also reveals another problem. Many countries have not yet realised the danger of these epidemics. They have not equipped themselves with early detection and rapid intervention systems to contain the emergence of these new infections.” 

“The COVID-19 epidemic reveals the limits and weaknesses of countries' health systems, but also the progress made internationally since the SARS epidemic in 2003” says SwissInfo. 

The COVID-19 outbreak has brought health security back to the top of the policy agenda. What kind of questions should we be asking? Here are just a few:

  • Is your government or organisation ready to deal with this challenge?
  • How can we improve outbreak prevention and response at the national, regional and global levels?
  • How should we strengthen detection strategies? Why is a multi-sectoral response to major public health incidents crucial?


Click for SwissInfo article

Click for health security training


Read this piece on managing health pandemics, written by Dr Poumerol, GCSP Associate Fellow and course director for upcoming course on “Développement des capacités dans le domaine de la sécurité sanitaire 2021”