The novel coronavirus outbreak that originated in Wuhan, China reminds us that health crises can rapidly escalate into global emergencies. They can cause panic, disrupt economies, undermine political authority, spark discrimination and expose societal faultlines. Getting outbreaks under control requires effective national and global governance across many areas – from detecting cases to countering misinformation, from scientific research to minimising trade and travel restrictions. But the patchwork of international arrangements to do so remains inadequate, despite significant reforms following the 2014-16 West African Ebola crisis. What is the current state of the global governance of outbreaks, and where is further attention most urgently needed?
Suerie Moon is Co-director of the Graduate Institute’s Global Health Centre and Visiting Lecturer in the Interdisciplinary Programmes. She conducts research and teaches on the intersection of global governance and public health, with a focus on outbreaks, innovation and access to medicines, and development assistance.
Prior to joining the Graduate Institute in 2016, she was Lecturer on Global Health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She was Study Director of the Harvard-LSHTM Independent Panel on the Global Response to Ebola, head of Harvard’s research team on the Lancet Commission on Global Governance for Health, and co-directed the Project on Innovation and Access to Technologies for Sustainable Development at the Kennedy School of Government. She is currently Principal Investigator on three research projects, and the recipient of a PRIMA career grant from the Swiss National Science Foundation.