National, International Leaders Must Take Action To Prepare For Disease Outbreaks, Global Health Security Index Authors Write
Global Health NOW: No Country is Fully Prepared for High-Consequence Infectious Disease Outbreaks
Jennifer Nuzzo, senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, and Elizabeth Cameron, vice president of Global Biological Policy and Programs at the Nuclear Threat Initiative
“…Results from our GHS Index published [October 24] demonstrate the stark reality that no country is fully prepared for significant infectious disease outbreaks. Many countries are lacking in essential public health and health system capacities to prevent, detect, and respond to health emergencies. There is even less evidence that countries have demonstrated the ability to exercise these capacities in an actual emergency. The Index also considers countries’ political, socioeconomic, and environmental risks, which can affect their abilities to contain disease outbreaks. The data show significant vulnerabilities in many countries. … Every country has a responsibility for understanding, tracking, improving, and sustaining national health security. In addition, international organizations also have a role to play, as the level of international need has eclipsed the ability of many individual governments to fill identified gaps. Health security is a collective responsibility — it’s time for all national and global leaders to be accountable for urgent action” (10/24).