Google.org announced grants of more than $14 million to support partners working in Southeast Asia and Africa to prevent the next pandemic.
Google.org’s Predict and Prevent initiative is supporting efforts to identify hot spots where diseases may emerge, detect new pathogens circulating in animal and human populations, and respond to outbreaks before they become global crises. Several new lethal infectious diseases crop up every year. Examples include the well-known killers, HIV/AIDS, bird flu, and SARS, as well as drug-resistant strains of ancient scourges malaria and tuberculosis. Three-quarters of new diseases are zoonoses, meaning they’ve jumped from animals to humans.
“The holy grail is to predict disease outbreaks before they happen. For Rift Valley fever and malaria, long-term weather forecasts and deforestation maps can show us where to look for outbreaks, up to six months in advance,” said Frank Rijsberman, Program Director, Google.org.