4 lessons on human cooperation from the fight against Ebola
2020-01-03 from weforum.org
- A new vaccine against Ebola is a major breakthrough.
- It would never have existed without cooperation.
- Health workers have used boats, bikes, drones and long hikes to get the vaccine to where it's needed.
Often, the fight against disease is slow, with gains won over years and measured in statistics and bar charts. Only rarely is there a breakthrough, when something truly new happens that dramatically changes the way the world is able to make progress in the fight for health. Such a breakthrough has happened in the war against the Ebola virus.
Since I lead MSD, you might expect me to say that the breakthrough against Ebola is a vaccine. The totality, however, is far broader than any individual intervention or contributor.
The true breakthrough in the struggle to protect the world against the Ebola virus is the unique public-private partnership that has come together to fight this killer. It's almost impossible to overstate the tenacity and strength of those in this partnership, which unites governments and the private sector, multilateral organizations and community groups, scientists, doctors, community health workers, ambulance drivers and ordinary people who do the extraordinary every day. Tragically, some members of the partnership have lost their lives trying to protect the health of their communities. They are the truest heroes of the fight.
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