Abt Associates has joined the Alliance for Country Assessments for Global Health Security and International Health Regulations Implementation. The group supports the World Health Organization (WHO) and national governments in conducting activities – such as joint evaluations – and plans to accelerate compliance with the World Health Organization’s International Health Regulations (2005). These regulations call for every country to establish minimum capabilities that include laboratory standards and field personnel trained and equipped to find and stop health threats.
Gavin Macgregor-Skinner “No single country can achieve global health security by itself. In 2016, we heard renewed commitment to health security as it was discussed among leaders of the G7 and G20 countries, and at the United Nations General Assembly,” said Gavin-Macgregor Skinner, Abt’s Senior Global Health Security Advisor.
“We now are seeing frontline health workers using new technologies to communicate their findings rapidly and Governments and non-government stakeholders working together to implement new solutions through collaborative multi-sectoral approaches,” Macgregor-Skinner said.
Cooperating to Combat and Prevent Outbreaks
To date, there are 53 members in the Alliance, which participate in subgroups focusing on:
- Advocacy and funding for joint external evaluations and development of five-year roadmaps;
- Enhancing multisectoral collaboration;
- Accelerating capacity building for international health regulations and health security, and;
- Harnessing and supporting regional capacity.
Countries in red and green are Global Health Security Agenda Partner Countries. The U.S. government-supported countries are in green. The Alliance supports the implementation of the Global Health Security Agenda by focusing on three core principles:
Be Bold: Make smart and targeted investments in countries to prevent, detect and rapidly respond to disease outbreaks before they become epidemics.
What gets measured gets done: Develop and put into practice independent methods to assess progress and how investments are making a difference.
Invest in the Future: There is no better time like the present to engage and support the next generation in securing a healthy and safe future.
Better Health Systems, Better Disease Responses
The Global Health Security Agenda is an accelerator model to assist countries in complying with international health regulations.
Outbreaks of SARS, Influenza, Ebola, Zika and other infectious diseases pose not only a local health threat but also national and international security threats. National multisectoral cooperation and preparedness are at the core of combating infectious diseases effectively through strengthened health care systems that include surveillance, diagnostics, social and behavior change, emergency operations, and workforce development.
In 2017, the Alliance plans to:
- Promote political awareness of global health security and its inclusion in relevant international arenas;
- Garner support for the promotion of strengthening health systems, preparedness capacity building, as well as enhance biosafety and biosecurity;
- Enhance intersectoral collaboration on health security at international, regional and country levels;
- Support international organizations’ work on health security, particularly the implementation of the WHO’s International Health Regulations and other international standards at national level; and
- Promote models for international collaboration including with the government, private sector, foundations, and non-government organizations.
The U.S. government committed to assisting 31 countries and the Caribbean Community, a group of 20 countries – including 15 member states and five associate members – to achieve measurable Global Health Security Agenda targets that address specific gaps in disease surveillance, laboratories, emergency management, biosafety and biosecurity, antimicrobial resistance, medical countermeasures, and other disciplines critical to health security.
Read more about this organization and effort: