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Table of Contents   
LETTER TO THE EDITOR  
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 1387-1388
Global health security: Transforming commitments into practical actions


Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai, Tamil Nadu, India

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Date of Web Publication6-Nov-2017
 

How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Global health security: Transforming commitments into practical actions. Ann Trop Med Public Health 2017;10:1387-8

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Global health security: Transforming commitments into practical actions. Ann Trop Med Public Health [serial online] 2017 [cited 2019 Sep 18];10:1387-8. Available from: http://www.atmph.org/text.asp?2017/10/5/1387/196732


Dear Sir,

Global health security encompasses development of the infrastructure and measures for the capacity building to promote and preserve the health status of individuals and communities across the world.[1] The health system of a nation is constituted by different public and private facilities, institutions, and other resources utilized to ameliorate, sustain, or restore health and other health indicators of a population.[2] The recent outbreaks of diseases like Ebola, Zika, and Yellow fever have exposed the bitter truth that even a known infectious disease can pose a huge threat to the global health security by exposing the weaknesses in the national health systems (like poor infrastructure, resource constraints, shortage of health professionals, lack of coordination, underfunding, etc.).[1],[3]

In fact, less than 33% of the nations in the world are empowered to assess, detect, and respond to public health emergencies on their own, while the rest all are dependent on external assistance due to numerous weaknesses at national, regional, and international levels.[1]

Further, amidst the globalization and rise in trade and travel, multiple shortcomings and lacunae have been observed in the International Health Regulations (IHRs), which again provide numerous opportunities for the onset and spread of infectious diseases.[4] It is very important to understand that in order to respond to any public health emergency, there is an immense need to develop outbreak preparedness and response plan and strengthen the national health system (viz., financial support, human resources, infrastructure, surveillance mechanism, information and supply management systems, etc.).[1],[2],[3],[5]

Acknowledging the importance of achieving global health security, the World Health Organization, national governments, financing agencies, and other stakeholders across the world have reiterated their opinion to accelerate the process of strengthening and respond to disease outbreaks or any other health emergencies.[1] However, the strengthening of the health system can only be achieved if different components of the health systems are systematically assessed in terms of strengths and weaknesses.[1],[2] The policy makers should aim to improve the overall outcome and enable reforms in the weak areas of the health system.[3],[5] Further, it is important to enhance the resilience of the health system, so that it can adapt and cope with emergency needs.[2]

In addition, there is a need to develop tangible indicators, so that the progress toward achieving global health security can be measured.[2] Moreover, the real strength of the health system will be said to be achieved if health systems are able to deliver timely and quality-assured healthcare services in an holistic manner to all those who are in need of them on an adequate level, especially during emergencies, when there is an increased risk of failure of the essential healthcare services.[2],[3] Also, by incorporating elements like community engagement, devising mechanisms for risk communication, strengthening components of IHR, fostering linkages with all the concerned stakeholders, and developing national and international partnerships, global health security can be achieved and even sustained for long term.[2],[3],[4],[5]

To conclude, the concern of global health security has gained wide recognition due to the serious, repeated threats of spread of infectious diseases to susceptible nations. It is high time that all the stakeholders should work together to strengthen the national health system and thus achieve universal health coverage and global health security.

Acknowledgements

SRS contributed in the conception or design of the work, drafting of the work, approval of the final version of the manuscript, and agreed for all aspects of the work.

PSS contributed in the literature review, revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content, approval of the final version of the manuscript, and agreed for all aspects of the work.

JR contributed in revising the draft, approval of the final version of the manuscript, and agreed for all aspects of the work.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
   References Top

1.
World Health Organization.WHO, governments and health agencies commit to advancing global health security. 2016;Available from: http://www.searo.who.int/mediacentre/releases/2016/1628/en/. [Last accessed on 2016 Jun 30].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Simón Soria F. Public health emergencies of international concern. An opportunity to improve global health security. Enferm Infecc Microbiol Clin 2016;34:219-21.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Kutzin J, Sparkes SP. Health systems strengthening, universal health coverage, health security and resilience. Bull World Health Organ 2016;94:2.  Back to cited text no. 3
[PUBMED]    
4.
Gostin LO, Katz R, The international health regulations: the governing framework for global health security. Milbank Q 2016;94:264-13.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Wolicki SB, Nuzzo JB, Blazes DL, Pitts DL, Iskander JK. Tappero JW. Public health surveillance: at the core of the global health security agenda. Health Secur 2016;14:185-8.  Back to cited text no. 5
    

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Correspondence Address:
Saurabh R Shrivastava
3rd Floor, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai Village, Thiruporur, Guduvancherry Main Road, Sembakkam Post, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1755-6783.196732

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