Infectious Disease Preparedness
For a rapid and coordinated research response to be possible when the next outbreak strikes, research funders need to do the preparatory work now in the inter-epidemic period. The following are some of the topics discussed at the 2017 General Assembly on actions taken by GloPID-R toward epidemic preparedness.
The GloPID-R Response Plan is now approved and ready to be used. It is the mechanism that will facilitate a prompt and coordinated response by funders. It includes a plan for the rapid identification of research needs as well as clarity on what the triggers for decision and action should be.
Katherine Littler, GloPID-R Data Sharing Working Group Chair from the Wellcome Trust, presented on the working group’s progress. The Data Sharing Working Group’s objective is to develop a system for data sharing in public health emergencies and will work specifically toward guiding funders on how to implement a data sharing framework. Many topics are being tackled: data sharing principles, governance or practical issues such as systems interoperability. The Data Sharing Principles are currently open for consultation.
As part of their awareness raising efforts, the Data Sharing Working Group submitted an editorial, “Progress in Promoting Data Sharing in Public Health Emergencies,” to the WHO Bulletin, which was published in the April 1, 2017 edition.
Marion Koopmans, Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board (SAB), presented the SAB opinion on a possible long-term research agenda for GloPID-R. The SAB discussed the potential added value of research aimed at improving risk assessment and emerging infectious diseases representing an epidemic threat. It also identified research gaps in terms of preparedness. Once the SAB finalizes the opinion, GloPID-R members will have an in-depth discussion and will decide on a course of action.