Dr. Jamechia Hoyle, Coordinator Next Generation Global Health Security Network, Visiting Scholar/Assistant Professor, Taipei Medical University, Adjunct Professor, George Mason University – Taiwan/USA
The 5thGlobal Health Security Agenda (GHSA) Ministerial Meeting, hosted by the Government of Indonesia, under the theme “Advancing Global Partnerships” showcased many success stories and overall increased capacity towards realizing a world safe and secure from infectious disease threats. In a time where the Democratic Republic of Congo is facing its 10thoutbreak of Ebola, cholera is spreading throughout Yemen, and the threat of pandemic influenza looms dedicated multisectoral commitments to preparedness are more important than ever.
The 3-day event included a variety of high-level updates and more intimate discussions in side events on next steps under the newly-launched GHSA 2024. Under the GHSA 2024 Framework, the initiative will move toward a more structured approach with “clear governance, collaboration structures and processes, increased engagement of the broader GHSA community, tracking and measurement of progress and enhanced accountability for delivery on commitments”. With over 100 countries expected to complete an external evaluation of health security capacity under this new framework, GHSA members and relevant partners remain committed to undergo planning and resource mobilization to address gaps. However, as repeatedly discussed during the Ministerial Meeting, a key issue remains: financing health security.
During the World Bank-sponsored side event on “Financing Preparedness at the Country Level” and the session on “Health Security Financing Policy Dialogue and Action”, it was alarming to learn of the continued lack of sustainable investments in preparedness, especially given the number of recent outbreaks and the reality that the combination of emerging and reemerging diseases and climate change leaves a major portion of the world vulnerable. Don’t forget the constant reminder: diseases do not require passports. A small investment of $1 per day would make a tremendous difference in global preparedness. Many novel funding opportunities and incentives for investing in preparedness were proposed and I anticipate as more countries move toward creating national action plans for health security to address gaps identified in the evaluation process that GHSA, alongside relevant partners, will be uniquely positioned to drive the future of financing preparedness, perhaps through a dedicated Action Package.
In keeping with the theme of the conference, “Advancing Global Partnerships”, GHSA members and partnerships, such as the FAO/OIE/WHO Tripartite, Private Sector Roundtable (PSRT), GHSA Consortiumand the Next Generation Global Health Security Network(NextGen) reaffirmed commitments to GHSA. Under the GHSA 2024 framework’s new structure for task forces dedicated to stakeholder engagement, advocacy and communication, it is evident that the membership base of GHSA will grow and the efforts of partners will continue to reinforce the preparedness agenda.
Many NextGen members attended the Ministerial Meetings and reaffirmed the commitment of the next generation to GHSA 2024, the Action Packages and continuing our grassroots advocacy campaigns. On the next few pages, you will find reflections from members who attended the Ministerial Meeting. As we continue into the next phase of GHSA, we look forward to continuing to support this worthwhile initiative through open dialogue, providing innovative solutions and continuing to build a workforce primed to bridge the preparedness gaps.