Assessing Global Health Security: Are We Ready for the Next Pandemic?

Infectious disease outbreaks spread without regard for national borders. The capacity of one country to prevent, prepare for, and respond to a public health emergency has direct implications — and potential consequences — for neighboring countries and the global community at large. That’s why leaders from the Nuclear Threat Initiative, John Hopkins Center for Health Security, and the Economist Intelligence Unit came together to develop the Global Health Security (GHS) Index.

The GHS Index offers the first compilation and assessment of open-source data from 195 countries and international organizations pertaining to each countries’ preparedness to prevent and respond to biological risks and disease outbreaks, including geopolitical considerations, health system architecture, and national economic stability. Alarmingly, the analysis indicates that “no country is fully prepared for epidemics or pandemics”, and “the average overall GHS Index score among all 195 countries assessed is 40.2 with a possible score of 100.”

As our world grows evermore interconnected, the risk that a biological threat could have globally disastrous consequences continues to rise. The GHS Index and accompanying report, 2019 Global Health Security Index: Building Collective Action and Accountability, are intended to serve as a resource for international leaders from across sectors to assess current gaps in health security preparedness and review recommendations for improvement.

For more information, visit the HSDL Featured Topic on Pandemics and Epidemics. Please note that an HSDL login is required to view some of these resources.

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