29 oktober 2015

High-profile discussion at today’s breakfast seminar

In connection with a WHO meeting in Oslo, a high-profile panel of speakers, including top representatives from the WHO, Doctors Without Borders, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, BBC and Ministry of Health and Care services, discussed lessons learned from the Ebola outbreak.
High-profile discussion at today’s breakfast seminar
Panel: from the left, Erwin van’t Land, General Director of MSF Norway, John-Arne Røttingen, Executive Director of Environmental Health and Infectious Disease Control at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Marie-Paule Kieny, Assistant Director-General in WHO and Tulip Mazumdar, BBC’s Global Health Correspondent. 
 
Over 70 participants joined the breakfast seminar at Gambit H+K.


One year ago, the largest Ebola epidemic to date was at the peak of its transmission rate and the international society was on the brink of panicking. The International reactions to the outbreak were too slow to prevent the loss of thousands of lives. However, the Ebola tragedy may still serve as a wake-up call. WHO says another outbreak of an infectious disease is inevitable, which calls for effective means to mobilise leaders and secure adequate funding in time to be prepared.
 
In relation to the WHO meeting taking place in Oslo 29-30 October, Gambit H+K arranged a breakfast seminar titled "One year since Ebola: How are we to strengthen the international response to the next epidemic?" Over 70 participants and delegates from organizations both in Norway but also worldwide attended the event. 


Camilla Stoltenberg and John-Arne Røttingen from The Institute of Public Health describes how research is key to prevent the next epidemic in this article in today’s Aftenposten.


The seminar was introduced by State Secretary at the Ministry of Health and Care Services, Cecilie Brein-Karlsen. She highlighted how there is need for better leadership and coordination in such pandemics as Ebola. She was clear; a new reform is vital in this regard. With this, she sat the tone for the following debate. 
The panel consisted of Tulip Mazumdar, BBC’s Global Health Correspondent who covered the Ebola outbreak on the ground in West Africa, Marie-Paule Kieny, Assistant Director-General in WHO, Erwin van’t Land, General Director of MSF Norway and John-Arne Røttingen, Executive Director of Environmental Health and Infectious Disease Control at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. Gambit H+K's Steffen Fjærvik facilitated the debate trying to answer the following question: 


What are the key learnings from the last epidemic and how can this help strengthen the international response to the next epidemic outbreak?  
 
Tulip Mazumdar from BBC took us one year back to how she experienced the Ebola outbreak, explaining how infrastructure and logistics are key priorities for efficient help on ground. In relation to Tulip Mazumdar's experience, Erwin van’t Land from MSF Norway shared how MSF experienced capacity problems at their centers, being unable to offer optimal help for those in need. He stressed that we must avoid having similar situations again.


When asked what the governments were doing wrong during the Ebola outbreak, Marie-Paule Kieny from WHO challenged us to not only think about what has been, but how we can attack this together in the future. There will be a new pandemic, people should not be left empty handed. This was also one of the key elements John-Arne Røttingen from Norwegian Institute of Public Health had, that we must establish systems where both private- and public sector as well as governments can collaborate, so that we can effectively control externalites.


The WHO meeting in Oslo and the international process going forward will be instrumental in shaping a better response to future epidemics. 
 
Introduction: State Secretary Cecilie Brein-Karlsen.
Panel and Gambit H+K advisors: from the left, Tulip Mazumdar, BBC’s Global Health Correspondent. Marie-Paule Kieny, Assistant Director-General in WHO, Advisor Steffen Fjærvik, Erwin van’t Land, General Director of MSF Norway, John-Arne Røttingen, Executive Director of Environmental Health and Infectious Disease Control at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, and Advisor and Health lead at Gambit H+K, Dag Abrahamsen.