White House Releases Strategy to Strengthen Global Health Security

The White House launched this week (April 16, 2024), the US Global Health Security Strategy, a five-year plan designed as a  whole-of-government, science-based approach to strengthening global health security.  

The plan incorporates lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic and related strategies as well as measures to increase access and broaden inclusion in health outcomes.   

The 2024 US Global Health Security Strategy sets out three goals: (1) strengthen global health security capacities through bilateral partnerships; (2) catalyze commitment, financing, and leadership to achieve health security; and (3) increase linkages between health security and complementary programs to maximize impact. 

Strengthen global health security capacities through bilateral partnerships.
The strategy focuses on working with countries globally to ensure they are better able to prevent, detect, and respond to global health security threats. To that end, the US has expanded its formal global health security partnerships from 19 countries to 50 countries.  Over the next five years, the US governments plans to do the following: 

  • Work with these 50 partners to build, further strengthen, and sustain a level of demonstrated capacity in at least five global health security areas; 
  • Promote country-led processes as essential to achieving sustainable progress toward the the global health security goals; 
  • Incorporate gender-responsive and social inclusion considerations into global health security programming, to reduce public health risks and adverse health impacts on marginalized populations; and 
  • Track progress toward closing gaps in preparedness and response capacities, and share those results publicly.   

The White Houses says these goals will further accelerate country implementation of the International Health Regulations (IHR), which provide an overarching legal framework that defines countries’ rights and obligations in handling  public health events and emergencies that have the potential to cross borders, and contribute toward achieving the G7 Pact for Pandemic Readiness Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) targets. The G7 is an intergovernmental political and economic forum consisting of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the US. The GHSA is a group of more than 70 countries, international organizations, and non-government organizations, and private sector companies that have come together to achieve safety and security from global health threats posed by infectious diseases. 

Catalyze commitment, financing, and leadership to achieve health security. 
The US government says it will work alongside partners to catalyze and sustain political leadership, commitment, and financing in health security at local, national, regional, and global levels. Over the next five years the US government says it will do the following: 

  • Continue to drive efforts to strengthen global policies, including through negotiations on a Pandemic Accord and targeted amendments to the IHR.  
  • Support fit-for-purpose institutions that can drive innovation, offer reliable public health guidance, and implement a rapid response to global health emergencies; 
  • Further strengthen US efforts to expand equitable access to medical countermeasures; and 
  • Accelerate commitments made by the G7, including achieving the milestones of the G7 Pact for Pandemic Readiness to provide support to assist at least 100 low- and middle-income countries in building the core capacities required in the IHR. 

Increase linkages between health security and complementary programs to maximize impact.
The US government says it is committed to better maximizing linkages between global health security programs and other health, development and security programs. To that end, over the next five years, the US government says it will do the following: 

  • Better integrate and leverage global health programs and health systems’ strengthening efforts, including regulatory systems and medical countermeasure manufacture, procurement, and delivery; 
  • Better integrate and leverage development programs, including humanitarian and disaster response, food security, water sanitation and hygiene, and community leadership; 
  • Further strengthen a One Health approach to global health security, including integrating infectious disease data from human, animal, plant, and environment sectors; and 
  • Strengthen research networks, including for global clinical trials. 

Source: The White House