Management Sciences for Health, and its partners Save the Children and International Medical Corps, commit to bringing together key partners from the global public health, private, public, and civil society sectors to build the No More Epidemics (NME) Campaign. NME will coordinate and advocate for proven solutions and resources for building health systems that will prevent major epidemics. NME will aim to ensure that epidemic prevention remains a priority among governments and global health actors, drive investment in fragile health systems, monitor and report on countries readiness, and change the conversation from Ebola response to epidemic prevention.
As campaign leaders, MSH, Save the Children, and International Medical Corps will build a multi-stakeholder steering committee, representing NGOs, foundations and businesses, including partners from at-risk areas. The steering committee will provide expertise, diverse relationships, wide geographic reach, and on-the-ground connections.
Global and locally-based advocacy activities will focus on accountability, epidemic preparedness and the importance of building resilient health systems. Local staff will lead advocacy activities and identify culturally-appropriate media strategies, such as television, radio, theatre, soap operas, bus wraps and digital media. To support locally based activities and build grassroots support, a campaign launch event will take place in an epidemic-affected area.
To allow communities to evaluate their countries preparedness, a community scorecard will be developed using existing International Health Regulations benchmarks. With community input, criteria will be selected and prioritized to create a tool that equips communities to rate and advocate for key preparedness factors such as early detection, rapid response and overall health system strength.
The communication hub of the campaign will be an independent website and social media platform for information sharing, advocacy and action, serving as a tool for community engagement and ongoing recruitment of coalition members to support the movement.
The campaign will harness the resources of a diverse group of NGOs, public health experts, corporations, philanthropies, and informed citizens to create a global movement to promote epidemic prevention. This movement will work at all levels to urge creation of a coordinated, coherent structure to combat and, ultimately, prevent epidemics by building political and social support for epidemic prevention, particularly in at-risk countries.
-Establish steering committee of 6-8 partners
-Recruit coalition members (local/international NGOs, foundations, businesses)
-Create steering committee work plan and timeline
-Begin website design (nomorepidemics.org)
-Campaign launch event in African country affected by epidemics
-Begin development of community scorecard
-Begin design of interactive website functions
-Develop outreach strategy for global campaign
-Create advocacy strategy and key messages in priority countries
-Identify/engage country-based implementing partners
-Rollout of website and social media strategy (FB, Twitter, etc.)
-Launch targeted, country-based multi-media strategies and engagement
Q4 - 2016
-Continue campaign activities
Q1 - 2017
-Assess social media and website platform performance and make necessary adjustments
-Evaluate pilot countries on epidemic preparedness using community scorecard
Q2 - 2017
-Launch multi-media, country-based campaign in additional country
-Continue to develop and expand networks and membership in each country
Q3 - 2017
-Evaluate advocacy and campaign activities on epidemic preparedness using community scorecard
-Periodic re-evaluation of scorecard to monitor progress
The world has been challenged repeatedly by infectious disease epidemics, including SARS, avian influenza, MERS, and most recently, Ebola. The West Africa Ebola epidemic shook the world to its roots. It demonstrated, once again, that weak health systems put the entire world at risk of deadly epidemics, and that even the best-prepared systems can fail at times. Countries were not ready or prepared.
Isolated rural communities as well as dense urban areas were unaware of the dangers of epidemic disease. Surveillance, reporting, and contact tracing systems were weak or non-existent. Laboratory systems were unavailable. Health staff were neither trained nor equipped to react correctly. Local outbreak response teams were unprepared. Essential commodities and supplies for infection prevention and control were not accessible. Local funds to assist a rapid local response were unavailable.
Health workers valiantly tried to treat patients without adequate protection and paid the ultimate price of their lives in doing so. As a result, many health staff, individuals, and communities were left to fend for themselves. Over 27,000 cases were reported and the worldwide death toll exceeds 11,000 with the vast majority in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. An outbreak of a few cases spiraled completely out of control; collapsing health systems, closing schools, decreasing employment, and crippling economies. An international investment group recently reported that a severe and prolonged global pandemic could kill 180-360 million and hit global GDP by as much as 5-10% in the first year. The world cannot afford another epidemic.
The key to stopping epidemics is smart investment in local health systems, producing strong and resilient systems that can withstand extraordinary threats while delivering better health services. These investments are small compared to the immense human and economic costs of weak health systems. While local outbreaks are inevitable, major epidemics are not.
No More Epidemics® is now seeking investments from a broad-base of public and private sector partners to fund its five-year, $7 million approach to increase global epidemic preparedness efforts. Opportunities for partnership include:
Campaign Partners: sponsorship and/or underwriting of campaign products, activities, and events
Project Partners: sponsorship of campaign products and events including Epidemic Preparedness Index, country-based campaigns and Epidemic Preparedness Week
In-Kind Support: products and services that allow the campaign meet and achieve operational goals
Media Sponsorship: promotional support to deliver campaign messages to locally, nationally, and globally
Sponsorship benefits would include recognition in campaign communications and materials such as website, publications, special events, media and press releases, as well as personalized communication, invitations to special events and networking opportunities.
MSH has pledged $1 million for start-up and operating costs. Steering committee members will provide dedicated campaign staff as well as technical support from their networks of public health professionals.