Screen Shot 2019-09-28 at 18.30.02.png‘The World Knows an Apocalyptic Pandemic Is Coming: But nobody is interested in doing anything about it.’

This is the title of a news item on the Foreign Policy website.

It starts: ‘A new independent report compiled at the request of the United Nations secretary-general warns that there is a “very real threat” of a pandemic sweeping the planet, killing up to 80 million people… And we’re not ready.’

The article links to this (undated) report: A World at Risk: Annual report on global preparedness for health emergencies, from the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board, published by WHO and the World Bank. The report is damning in showing that we are indeed not ready.

I was surprised to find that the words evidence, information, education and communication are missing from the report, although it does acknowledge the importance of community trust (as we have seen with Ebola, this is crucial for effective public health impact). It is also critical that public health measures are not derailed by misinformation and panic.

HIFA is collaborating with the new Special Interest Group at IFLA: Evidence for Global and Disaster Health, and we welcome inputs form those concerend about pandemics.

Best wishes, Neil

Coordinator, HIFA Project on Library and Information Services