In 2014 the largest ever outbreak of Ebola virus disease took the world by surprise. This infectious disease has one of the highest case fatality rates known to medicine and most of those who become ill die. Over 11,000 people died in West Africa before the outbreak was finally brought under control. The disease dealt a devastating blow to three of the world’s poorest countries and cost an estimated $5bn globally. No drugs or vaccines were licensed or available in mid-2014.
Vaccines save millions of lives each year through well-established immunisation programmes that happen in every country. But no vaccines have yet been licensed for Ebola or any of more than a dozen other viral diseases that have caused significant outbreaks in recent years. There is a market failure that has prevented development of such vaccines, which needs urgent attention.
Professor Hill will discuss the dilemma that faced public health officials, vaccine companies and academic vaccine developers in late 2014 and the remarkable rapid response that ensued.
- There are two entrances to Church House Conference Centre. One entrance is in Dean's Yard and is accessed by stairs from the street level (please note: there is no public vehicular access to Dean's Yard). The second entrance is on Great Smith Street (near the junction with Victoria Street) and this has convenient level street access and is the closest entrance to the lift system inside the building.