BlessWorld Foundation International

Affecting the World Through Health
A Global Health Initiative

Global Health Security



Global Health Security is defined as actions required to reduce the health hazards and impacts of acute public health events that endanger the health of populations living across geographical regions. GHSA pursues a multi-sectoral approach to strengthen global and national capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to human and animal infectious disease threats, whether occurring naturally, accidentally or deliberately spread. Global health security emphasizes the current framework for global preparedness and response to emerging infectious diseases. The Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) which is a partnership between governments was launched in 2014 with the aim to make the world safe from infectious disease threats. The governments involved in the Global Health Security Agenda focused on strengthening their countries’ capacities for the detection, response and prevention of health problems and threats. More than 70% of the world remains underprepared to prevent, detect, and respond to a public health emergency.

Through the GHSA, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) works with countries to strengthen public health systems and contain outbreaks at their source, before they evolve into regional epidemics or global pandemics. Public health threats, health emergencies, and infectious diseases do not recognize or respect boundaries; therefore, effective and functional public health systems in all countries reduce the risk of health threats. Protecting the world from infectious disease threats requires that national governments share the responsibility of serving those most in need, regardless of where they live. All countries have a responsibility to keep their people safe because collective international public health action can build a safer future for humanity. In the context of public health emergencies, GHSA has received both financial and political support from several international organizations and about 50 countries. Unfortunately, global health security is mostly focused on protecting high-income countries from pandemics originating from low- and middle-income countries such as Ebola virus, Marburg, Zika virus, dengue, chikungunya, Rift Valley and Lassa fevers.

Values such as respect for human rights and solidarity, as well as focus on the prevention of future outbreaks rather than emphasis on disease containment to protect national security, must be incorporated by GHSA. Such values are consistent with the motives of many people who provide health services in public health emergencies. Health security agendas should aim to build resilience to future outbreaks of infectious diseases, and require a long-term systems approach based on surveillance and national health system strengthening. To ensure that GHSA is a fundamental part of the national policy of every country, political attention, financial support and coordination between national ministries is necessary. Additionally, all countries need to have the laboratory, trained workforce, surveillance, and emergency response team to prevent, detect, and respond to disease threats. Only when these accomplishments are realized can we truly be on the road to global health security for infectious diseases.

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