Over the past several years, Direct Relief has been privileged to work with and support several deeply dedicated partners in Liberia and Sierra Leone working hard and thoughtfully to expand and improve health services for people and build back the health systems that were decimated by civil wars that ended a decade ago. Of the many severe, chronic problems their efforts were seeking to address, the Ebola virus was not among them. When Ebola arrived, Direct Relief’s partner organizations were on the front lines of what has since become the worst, deadliest outbreak in history.
Rx Response is composed of members that span the bio-pharmaceutical supply chain, and so any kind of public health emergency probably will involve most, if not all, of the components of that supply chain.
Less than 100 years ago, little could be done to combat global epidemics. In 1917, Spanish influenza swept the world quickly and 50 million people died. Science and medicine significantly lagged behind medical need. The World Health Organization (WHO) and other global health authorities weren’t yet formed to help coordinate a response. And governments were without options.