Inequalities are driving today’s pandemics — AIDS, COVID-19, mpox, Ebola, and beyond. Inequalities increase vulnerability to transmission, impede access to health services, and stand in the way of people’s dignity and rights. They are at the heart of why infections become outbreaks, outbreaks become pandemics, and pandemics become lingering global crises. While science and technology have made extreme advancements, they have proven insufficient to stop pandemics. The difference between success and failure against these infectious diseases has often come down to the effectiveness of strategies to overcome inequalities.
Through our collaboration with UNAIDS, the Center for Global Health Policy & Politics helped launch the Global Council on Inequality, AIDS, and Pandemics, co-chaired with leading global academic, political, and community leaders addressing the inequality-pandemic cycle. With the World Health Organization, Pan American Health Organization, and other partners, we are also researching how policy drives or disrupts the inequalities causing pandemics and undermining wellbeing.