Funding cuts for international health programs carry big risks

A billboard warning of Ebola in Lagos, Nigeria. Photo: Sunday Alamba / AP

The importance of rich countries funding disease prevention efforts in poor countries "is as uncontroversial a position as exists in public health," Ed Yong writes in the Atlantic. But under the Trump administration's budget, U.S. funding for international health programs would see substantial cuts.

Why it matters: The 2014 Ebola outbreak in Nigeria was halted in three months, with only 19 cases and eight deaths. This outbreak, which had the potential to spread across the globe as a pandemic, killing millions and costing trillions, was contained largely thanks to Nigeria's existing, U.S.-funded disease prevention infrastructure. The disappearance of this funding could leave poorer nations unequipped to contain infectious diseases.