In a wide-ranging interview on the COVID-19 crisis Tuesday, global health leader Mark Dybul called for a greater focus on how the pandemic might spread in the global south and on specific mitigation steps.
Dybul, the former head of both PEPFAR and the Global Fund, made a specific call to immediately gather the African, American, and European experts who directed the West African Ebola response to form a kind of task force. This group, he said, would be responsible for ensuring the major global health agencies — including USAID, the Global Fund, Gavi, and the World Bank, among others — have clear plans to quickly support health ministries in case tracking, testing, and a range of mitigation and treatment protocols.
“There should be a system to pull everyone together,” Dybul said in the interview with Devex President and Editor-in-Chief Raj Kumar. “We should be simulating, in the United States and globally, where this could go and how. Model it out. … As we get more data, we can actually use models to help us understand where it could go and how we should be responding and where we should be putting our resources.”
The hourlong interview touched on how COVID-19 might spread globally, vaccine development and virus mutation, and the potential timeline for COVID-19 social distancing, among many other related topics.
More interviews with humanitarian leaders on COVID-19. Watch:
• How Jan Egeland sees the crisis developing
• Amref Health Africa CEO on the impact on NGO finances
• Unacceptable — community health workers without COVID-19 protective gear
• Former OFDA chief gives Trump administration a ‘D’ on response
• How behavioral science is changing the response
Visit our dedicated COVID-19 page for news, job opportunities, and funding insights.