November 1, 2016

UK global health team ready to respond to disease outbreaks in 48 hours

This post originally appeared in The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine Website.

£20m initiative announced to help prevent global health emergencies on behalf of the UK Government.

The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine has been chosen to jointly run the newly established UK Public Health Rapid Support Team in partnership with Public Health England.

The initiative means the UK has a fully operational specialist team that can be deployed anywhere in the world within 48 hours to tackle disease outbreaks which have the potential to develop into major health emergencies.

The team has been established in response to the Ebola crisis in West Africa, which highlighted the need for the international community to develop a system to help support countries respond to and control disease outbreaks before they can develop into a global threat.

It will continually monitor infectious disease outbreaks around the world, identifying situations where the deployment of specialist expertise could help mitigate threats. When not responding to a disease outbreak, the team will research how best to deal with different types of outbreak scenario as well as training a group of public health reservists so the UK maintains the capability to rapidly scale up responses to outbreaks.

As part of the initiative, the School will lead a consortium of research institutions which includes the University of Oxford and King’s College London as academic partners.

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