In its first annual report, the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board identifies the most urgent actions required to accelerate preparedness for health emergencies. This report focuses on epidemics and pandemics.

The central finding of the report is that the world needs to proactively establish the systems needed to detect and control potential disease outbreaks. These acts of preparedness are a global public good that must meaningfully engage communities, from the local to the international, in preparedness, detection, response and recovery. Investing in health emergency preparedness will improve health outcomes, build community trust and reduce poverty, thereby also contributing to efforts to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Leaders at all levels hold the key. It is their responsibility to prioritize preparedness with a whole-of-society approach that ensures all are involved and all are protected.

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