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A Global Early Warning System for Pandemics: Perspectives from the Front Lines

The COVID-19 pandemic exposed critical gaps in the world’s ability to detect, track, and analyze pandemic threats. The international community has responded with a renewed push for a globally coordinated early warning system that is capable of detecting pathogenic threats at their earliest stages.

In July 2022, FasterCures, a center of the Milken Institute, in collaboration with Market Access Africa, hosted two roundtables to solicit additional perspectives about the future of a global early warning system. The roundtables, conducted under the Chatham House Rule, were attended by participants representing scientific, research, and community-based organizations based in Africa. The discussions focused on learnings from the COVID-19 pandemic, on-the-ground considerations for a global early warning system to be successful, and unforeseen challenges. Countries represented by the individuals at the roundtables included Cameroon, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, and South Africa. This report is a summary reflecting the perspectives of those who participated.