Identifying Future Disease Hot Spots - Infectious Disease Vulnerability Index
Recent high-profile outbreaks, such as Ebola and Zika, have illustrated the transnational nature of infectious diseases. Countries that are most vulnerable to such outbreaks might be higher priorities for technical support. RAND created the Infectious Disease Vulnerability Index to help U.S. government and international agencies identify these countries and thereby inform programming to preemptively help mitigate the spread and effects of potential transnational outbreaks.
The authors employed a rigorous methodology to identify the countries most vulnerable to disease outbreaks. They conducted a comprehensive review of relevant literature to identify factors influencing infectious disease vulnerability. Using widely available data, the authors created an index for identifying potentially vulnerable countries and then ranked countries by overall vulnerability score. Policymakers should focus on the 25 most-vulnerable countries with an eye toward a potential "disease belt" in the Sahel region of Africa.
The infectious disease vulnerability scores for several countries were better than what would have been predicted on the basis of economic status alone. This suggests that low-income countries can overcome economic challenges and become more resilient to public health challenges, such as infectious disease outbreaks.
ORBIS is powered by ESPAS, the European Strategy and Policy Analysis System, a unique inter-institutional project aimed at strengthening the EU's efforts in the crucial area of forward planning. ESPAS brings together the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Secretariat General of the Council of the European Union and the European External Action Service to strengthen the Union's collective administrative capacity to identify and analyse the key trends and challenges, and the resulting policy choices, which are likely to confront Europe and the wider world in the decades ahead.