Global Health Security
Project HOPE helps strengthen health systems that can detect, prevent, and respond to public health threats.
A Threat Anywhere Is a Threat Everywhere
The increasing interconnectedness of our world has transformed the landscape of global health. Infectious diseases can travel and spread like never before, putting the entire world population at heightened risk.
COVID-19 has highlighted the urgency of this risk, sweeping across the globe in a matter of months and quickly becoming one of the gravest threats to global health in our lifetimes.
The pandemic has taken over 1.5 million lives, cost billions of dollars, and disrupted access to essential health services. It has exposed the weak points and shortages of our health systems — a lack of preparedness and a range of gaps in countries’ abilities to prevent, detect, and respond to the virus.
But it will not be the last disease to put the world’s health at risk. COVID-19 is only one of the health threats that jeopardizes the lives and well-being of people worldwide.
That’s why Project HOPE is working to build health systems that are strong, resilient, and prepared to tackle public health threats, whenever and wherever they arise. With the entire world reeling from the fight against COVID-19, the cry for greater global health security has never been louder.
The Multi-faceted Threat of Infectious Disease
“We live in a more densely populated and interconnected world than ever before. We’ve already seen what the threat of infectious disease can be — and that threat continues to grow.”
Even before COVID-19, the threat of a pandemic had never been greater. New diseases emerge every year as a result of climate change, while globalization enables them to spread farther and faster.
Most infectious diseases are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted to people by animals. More than 6 out of every 10 known infectious diseases in people can be spread from animals.
The impacts of disease crises are devastating and long-lasting. Past outbreaks such as SARS (2002), H1N1 influenza (2009), MERS-CoV (2012), H7N9 influenza (2013), and Ebola (2014) have had significant human, security, and economic effects, felt across every level of society — on national, regional, and global scales. These diseases take lives, threaten food security, destabilize governments, and disrupt economies.
And at any moment they can resurface. Without the right information, sufficient staffing, and available vaccines, health systems can be quickly overwhelmed and pushed to their limits.
A Global Health Security Agenda
The Global Health Security Agenda is a global response to the growing threat of infectious diseases.
Launched in February 2014, the GHSA is a collaborative, multi-sectoral initiative that brings together countries, international and non-government organizations, and private sector companies to accelerate and strengthen global health security. This includes efforts to share best practices and tools, make global health security a top national priority, and help countries follow key frameworks to secure global health security worldwide.
In 2018, all 69 member countries (including the U.S.) committed to the next phase of the GHSA strategic framework: GHSA 2024. This phase calls for member countries to develop the leadership, technical knowledge, and collaborative foundation needed to sustain health security in the long term.
How Project HOPE is Responding
For more than 60 years, Project HOPE has worked to strengthen health systems and reduce the risk of infectious disease outbreaks around the world.
Today, as we continue our global response to COVID-19, we also work to help achieve the GHSA vision of attaining a world safe and secure from global health threats posed by infectious diseases.
Global health threats have only continued to increase since the 2003 outbreak of SARS in the Asian region. In 2005, the World Health Assembly agreed to enforce International Health Regulations to ensure countries are able to detect, prevent, and respond to public health threats.
To assist countries in implementing these regulations, the World Health Organization developed a Joint External Evaluation tool. Indonesia underwent a Joint External Evaluation in 2017, and then followed the recommendation to develop a National Action Plan for Health Security.
The Action Plan is based on a One Health approach for improving health security. This approach recognizes the interconnection between people, animal, plants, and their shared environment — an understanding that is essential to averting a pandemic threat given 60% of infectious diseases found in humans are contracted from animals.
Project HOPE and Gadjah Mada University are helping the Ministry of Health to implement the Action Plan. Our work focuses on improving infection prevention and control; real-time surveillance and reporting; and emergency management and response for disease outbreaks.
Our efforts to monitor and prevent a pandemic threat require working with many different stakeholders, including physicians, veterinarians, government officials, environmentalists, and others.
- We assess gaps in surveillance response to public health threats like COVID-19. Part of this effort includes evaluating the quality of routine immunization and achieving vaccination coverage targets for measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases.
- We help the Ministry of Health monitor outbreaks and collect real-time data during public health emergencies.
- We provide technical assistance to help the Ministry of Health develop data-sharing guidelines. We also train Ministry of Health staff to analyze data and improve early warning systems in hospitals.
- We improve data analysis and reporting to inform public health decisions.
- We perform routine analyses to detect the changes in disease patterns. To ensure high quality data analysis, we work to standardize training and educational requirements of all subnational level staff.
Emergency Response and Operations
- We enhance emergency management and response of public health threats. Project HOPE supports the Ministry of Health’s Public Health Emergency Operations Center in South Sulawesi and works with the government to develop emergency response plans in the event of an emerging threat or outbreak.
- We train emergency operation center staff on standard operating procedures using the World Health Organization’s Public Health Emergency Operations Center training curriculum.
Infection Prevention and Control
- We develop protocols for the identification of health workers with suspected COVID-19 infections. We work with governments and primary health care centers to develop and implement protocols for infection prevention and control among health care workers and patients at primary health care centers.
- We provide technical assistance to improve primary care infection prevention control protocol for threats like COVID-19. Our training for health care workers includes managerial, screening and triage, standard precaution, transmission precautions, administrative control, and environmental control and engineering.
How you can help
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