Epidemics don't have to happen

But every day, millions of lives and livelihoods are at risk because outbreaks aren't detected, reported and controlled in time. 

Epidemic preparedness is not just about pandemics and novel pathogens. Ongoing outbreaks involving familiar pathogens, like cholera and influenza, cause millions of preventable deaths every year, and much more illness and avoidable suffering. Globally, countries often face a multitude of urgent health issues with tight budgets and limited resources, meaning they can’t deal with outbreaks quickly and decisively.

Resolve to Save Lives works to make the world safer from epidemics by partnering with high-risk countries to strengthen key aspects of their health security systems. We forge strong partnerships—primarily with and between countries and governments—and elevate our learnings to global partners, treating country-level preparedness and response architecture as a foundation for global health security.

We drive collective action by:

Enabling countries to scale up their technical expertise, develop operational excellence and build political will for public health action.

Focusing our efforts on strengthening the health system and work on addressing root causes that undermine its performance.

A African heathcare worker in PPE, with mask and goggles, is being pointed at by another man in a mask during PPE training

Encouraging our partners to treat every outbreak as a unique learning opportunity that informs and improves future response efforts for known and novel pathogens.

Epidemics That Didn't Happen

Image credit: Courtesy of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

We work with our partners at the country level to:

Better respond to outbreaks by meeting detection, response and early action timeliness targets
Strengthen their national leadership, governance and financing architecture for health security
Equip public health experts with technical and leadership skills to strengthen institutions
Use data effectively for decision-making and link intelligence with operational support
Train frontline workers to detect and report cases, stay safe and continue treating patients
Ensure countries have laws and regulations in place to improve health security capacities
Establish and strengthen national public health institutes to fulfill essential functions
Analyze examples of good preparedness from around the world in order to replicate successes
Participants at Program Management for Epidemic Preparedness (PMEP), our leadership and management training, in Nairobi, Kenya.

Our partners include:

We advance preparedness through seven key areas:

Legal Instruments
National laboratory system 
Human resources
Health emergency management
Risk communication and community engagement

Where we work: Prevent Epidemics

Our Latest Work

Graphic of Ethopian health care worker

Ethiopia’s first national infection prevention and control budget

Our team recently supported the passage of Ethiopia’s first national infection prevention and control budget in partnership with the nation’s Ministries of Health and Finance. This strategic investment by national…

Our latest Epidemics That Didn’t Happen report

Resolve to Save Lives marks the release of its third Epidemics That Didn’t Happen report, showcasing six new case studies from around the world in which responsive health systems stopped…

David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe/Getty Images/File

What the U.S. can learn from Finland’s H5N1 response

In an essay for CNN, RTSL President and CEO, Dr. Tom Frieden outlines important lessons from a recent outbreak of “bird flu” in Finland that was stopped in its tracks…

U.S. Public Health Leaders discuss nationwide adoption of 7-1-7 in Georgetown, Washington

U.S. public health leaders discuss nationwide adoption of 7-1-7

On May 9, 2024, participants at a Georgetown Center for Global Health Science and Security leadership roundtable discussed a path to a national adoption of the 7-1-7 target in the…
REUTERS/Baz Ratner

Flexible funding for epidemic response is a game-changer

In her latest op-ed for Think Global Health, our Senior Vice President for Prevent Epidemics, Amanda McClelland, explains how early access to flexible funding at the first sign of an…

Establishing Nigeria’s first subnational public health institute

As part of efforts to make the world safer from epidemics, Resolve to Save Lives provided technical support to the Kano State Ministry of Health and the Kano State House…