Decades of research and resources have been consistently dedicated to the progression of better, accessible health in Africa, as well as other regions of the world populated by developing states. The numbers tell a story. There is much to be done, and there are, as yet, unexplored channels of progress.
A disease of public health interest in Sub-Saharan Africa, for example, are Diarrhoeal Diseases. Diarrhoea accounts for 9 per cent of all deaths among children under age 5 worldwide (2015). This translates to over 1,400 young children dying each day, or about 526,000 children a year, despite the availability of simple, effective treatment. What then, is the way forward?
Such questions birthed the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA).The GHSA was launched in February 2014 under partnership of nearly 50 nations, international organizations, and non-governmental stakeholders to strengthen both the global capacity and nations’ capacity to Prevent, Detect, and Respond to human and animal infectious diseases threats through a multilateral and multi-sectoral approach.
GHSA works under the framework of International Health Regulations (IHR). GHSA is a means to accelerate the implementation of IHR (2005). In other words, GHSA is aiming towards increasing the number of countries that have fulfilled the IHR requirements.
The purpose of Action Packages and the underlying Prevent-Detect-Respond framework is to:
- Urgently accelerate, measurable actions on a national, regional, and global basis;
- Provide for specific, coordinated actions in support of the GHSA;
- Highlight targets, provide accountability, and achieve a measurable approach; and
- Illustrate a mechanism by which countries can make specific commitments and take leadership roles in the GHSA.
Countries make commitments to one or more Action Packages and may agree to lead, co-lead or actively participate in work with other countries regionally or globally to implement a unified set of actions. Each Action Package includes a five-year target, an indicator by which to measure progress, desired impact, country commitments, and long-term actions.
In progression of the GHSA goals, a summit on a 4-year Workplan for Development & Strengthening of workforce development, one of the action packages commences today in Thailand with stakeholders. The resolutions made would go a long way in mapping the path of health security in the years to come.