Policy and planning for large epidemics and pandemics - challenges and lessons learned from COVID-19

Ashley Sharp, Vageesh Jain, Yewande Alimi, Daniel G. Bausch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The COVID-19 pandemic is a global catastrophe that has led to untold suffering and death. Many previously identified policy challenges in planning for large epidemics and pandemics have been brought to the fore, and new ones have emerged. Here, we review key policy challenges and lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic in order to be better prepared for the future. RECENT FINDINGS: The most important challenges facing policymakers include financing outbreak preparedness and response in a complex political environment with limited resources, coordinating response efforts among a growing and diverse range of national and international actors, accurately assessing national outbreak preparedness, addressing the shortfall in the global health workforce, building surge capacity of both human and material resources, balancing investments in public health and curative services, building capacity for outbreak-related research and development, and reinforcing measures for infection prevention and control. SUMMARY: In recent years, numerous epidemics and pandemics have caused not only considerable loss of life, but billions of dollars of economic loss. The COVID-19 pandemic served as a wake-up call and led to the implementation of relevant policies and countermeasures. Nevertheless, many questions remain and much work to be done. Wise policies and approaches for outbreak control exist but will require the political will to implement them.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)393-400
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Opinion in Infectious Diseases
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.


Dive into the research topics of 'Policy and planning for large epidemics and pandemics - challenges and lessons learned from COVID-19'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this