Public investment in health is a strong indicator of a government's commitment to its people (Lu et. al, 2010). As Ebola wreaked havoc on Liberia (accounting for more than 10,000 fatalities in West Africa in 2014), childhood immunization coverage dropped from 88% to 60% in 2014.
Ultimately, health systems will need to be strengthened in order to prevent the outbreak of future epidemics. The noted foreign policy article calls for the "...modernization of infrastructure and human resources." A proposed investment in refrigerators (to store vaccines) for local health outposts serves as one such example.
Although investing in emergency responses to Ebola was essential at the time of the outbreak, continued investments in broader health systems are the most effective investments to ensuring prevention and management of future crises.
Ebola has demonstrated, with brutal efficiency, that health and access to systems that protect it are the glues that hold societies together. Infectious disease can paralyze a nation as effectively as armed conflict. Therefore, as rebuilding begins, it will not be enough to get things back to the way they were before Ebola struck. They will need to be made better. This is all the more imperative because Ebola-affected states should be better prepared for the next health assault, which most likely will come from a more familiar disease — and sooner rather than later.