“We need better science for the poor”

Home Q&A “We need better science for the poor”

The world is not adequately prepared for epidemics like Ebola, says health expert Marie-Paule Kieny.

Portrait photo of Marie-Paule Kieny

TECHNOLOGIST What’s next, after Ebola?

MARIE-PAULE KIENY The WHO is embarking on a major programme to rebuild the health systems of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. We’re also encouraging other countries to focus on health-system strengthening – to be prepared for similar epidemics and ensure better healthcare.

TECHNOLOGIST What role can science play?

MARIE-PAULE KIENY We must put better science at the service of poor populations. The research and development community had largely dismissed Ebola because it occurred sporadically in remote African villages. The current race to find an Ebola vaccine may teach us that it’s possible to develop and test medical products faster than in the past.

TECHNOLOGIST What’s the next big challenge?

MARIE-PAULE KIENY There are several: climate change, environmental pollution and food security, which are closely related and have a strong bearing on health. We need to change our mindset and tackle all possible threats through a comprehensive approach.

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