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Amid the devastating war in Ukraine, a parallel battle rages on – that against infectious diseases. The COVID-19 pandemic starkly underlined the vital importance of global health surveillance for emerging and re-emerging human and animal pathogens. This challenge has become even more acute in war-torn regions like Ukraine, where healthcare infrastructure is under siege. For viruses with pandemic potential, such as the influenza virus, worldwide surveillance initiatives are essential in tracking the virus’s movement and spread among both animals and humans. Such monitoring serves dual purposes. Firstly, it guides the formulation of the yearly vaccine, ensuring it remains effective against prevailing strains. Secondly, it alerts livestock farmers in advance, enabling the timely rollout of mitigation measures. Moreover, discerning whether a disease outbreak is of natural origin, or an intentional release becomes critical. To achieve this, the global community must share transparent and timely information through a robust network of laboratories with cutting-edge biotechnological capabilities. The war’s ramifications have severely impacted these efforts. Yet, the stakes are too high to let these facilities fade away. This situation leads to the ultimate question: Who will step up to rebuild Ukraine’s public health and disease research laboratories?
Barr, Kelli L.; Bortz, Eric; Gerilovych, Anton; and Solodiankin, Oleksii, "GNSI Decision Brief: Who Will Rebuild Ukraine's Public Health and Disease Research Laboratories?" (2023). GNSI Decision Briefs. 7.