In June of 2019, while working for a USAID implementing partner in Tanzania, Emily Magurno led a three-day simulation of an Ebola outbreak in Mwanza for Ministry of Health officials, local government leadership, and other supply chain stakeholders.
She had spent the previous nine months developing a logistics strategy to effectively respond to an outbreak in the country. Less than nine months later, it would be put to the test as the entire world became engulfed in the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’m here to learn what it will take to prepare health systems around the world to prevent the next pandemic,”
Although the logistics strategy guided supply chain operations, Magurno says, disparities in supply chain capacity and access to supplies during the pandemic are startlingly clear.
“The frank reality is that Tanzania and many other low- and middle-income countries aren’t poised to succeed in effectively responding to an infectious disease epidemic,” she says.
In her MPH program, Magurno plans to expand beyond supply chain work and learn the skills she needs to help governments in under-resourced countries identify and address common gaps in emergency preparedness such as limited funding and data visibility.
“I’m here to learn what it will take to prepare health systems around the world to prevent the next pandemic,” she says.
BSE, Biomedical Engineering, University of Michigan, 2016