Another chapter in global health security

Australian Medical Association/AusMed

The United States has pledged $150 million to help high-risk countries build their capacity to guard against global disease threats such as the Ebola virus.

The United States’ $150 million contribution is on top of more than $1 billion committed by the US Government since 2014 to help 17 high-risk countries prevent, detect and respond to infectious disease outbreaks.

These efforts are part of the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA), which aims to ensure all countries can prevent, detect and respond quickly to outbreaks of infectious diseases.

“The United States supports GHSA 2024 at the highest levels of our Government,” US Health and Human Services Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan said in 2018 when he announced the contribution at the Global Health Security Agenda Ministerial Meeting in Bali, Indonesia. World leaders had gathered there to launch the Global Health Security Agenda 2024.

The meeting reaffirmed members’ support for continued collaboration on global health security, Mr Hargan said. He also emphasised “significant interest and participation” from the US private sector.

GHSA 2024 continues a global partnership that launched in 2014. The partnership addresses the need for close collaboration across borders and sectors to make the world safe from infectious diseases. Thanks to these efforts, international organizations, nongovernmental partners and more than 60 countries are working together to prevent, detect and respond to disease threats across the globe.

Recognising there is more work to be done, the original Global Health Security Agenda was extended by five years, to 2024. GHSA 2024 aims to build on past accomplishments and create measurable improvements in health security in more than 100 countries by 2024.

According to the recent progress report, these investments have paid off. Supported countries were largely able to take the lead in responding to more than 25 reported public health emergencies last year.

Yet, as Mr Hargan is quick to point out, challenges remain. Meeting these challenges and safeguarding against global disease threats will be the continued focus of GHSA 2024 and beyond.

This article was written by freelance writer Toby Merkt for ShareAmerica, the US State Department’s content sharer.

PIC: A health worker puts on protective equipment at an Ebola treatment center in Bunia, Democratic Republic of the Congo. (© John Wessels/AFP/Getty Images)

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