As an intern for the Institute of Health and Social Policy located here in Montreal, MJPS Editor Brian Huang interviewed Dr. Mohamed Karmali who was previously the head of the Department of Microbiology at the Sickkids Hospital and the Director-General of the Laboratory for Foodborne Zoonoses at the Public Health Agency of Canada. This policy brief provides insight and recommendations on emerging infectious diseases and the policies that aim to combat future outbreaks.

There are a few highlights to emphasize:

1. We live in an infection-prone era due to urbanization, increasing population density, globalization, climate change, and increasing antimicrobial resistance from unregulated use of antibiotics.

2.The Canadian government and international health agencies like the WHO fight against infectious diseases through promoting healthy living, implementing preventative programs, increasing surveillance and information sharing, and implementing international guidelines for all countries to follow

3.With nearly 75% of new infectious diseases emerging from animals and the environment, there is value in using a One Health approach in converging human health, animal health, and the environment when studying and targeting the determinants of emerging infectious diseases

4. There is no “quick fix” to solving emerging infectious diseases, but with better health surveillance programs, free vaccinations, public education, and programs that incorporate the SDGs by addressing both the social determinants of public health and the environmental determinants of emerging infectious diseases, we will be better armed to combat any future outbreaks

The full policy brief can be viewed here:


The Institute for Health and Social Policy is a multidisciplinary centre at McGill University that fosters world-class research on how social conditions and policies impact health, well-being, and equity. Dedicated to research, training, and knowledge mobilization, the Institute builds collaborations with policymakers, communities, and researchers to effectively move evidence to policy.