White House Releases New Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) Annual Report

Today, the White House released the fifth Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) annual report. The report details the United States’ progress and impact helping countries build health security capacity through the GHSA in fiscal year (FY) 2020, during a time when GHSA investments have been critical in advancing the COVID-19 response.

The need for every country to have sufficient health security capacity, including well-equipped workforces (including field epidemiologists), strong national laboratory systems, and functional Emergency Operations Centers, has never been more clear. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, countries remain susceptible to other outbreaks and must be prepared to detect and respond.

In FY20, the U.S. Government provided financial and technical assistance to 19 countries to help achieve GHSA 2024* targets and support COVID-19 response activities including contact tracing, community engagement, and coordination of public health response efforts.

According to the new report, of the 19 GHSA partner countries, 16 documented the universal engagement of Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP) graduates and the significant engagement of trainees across multiple COVID-19 response activities.

The report highlights the importance of FETPs to achieving health security by increasing countries’ ability to detect and respond to public health threats, addressing the shortage of skilled epidemiologists worldwide, and building critical relationships with other countries.

The full GHSA annual report can be found here.

*The GHSA is a group of 70 countries, international organizations and non-government organizations, and private sector companies that have come together to achieve the vision of a world safe and secure from global health threats posed by infectious diseases. The GHSA was initially launched as a five-year effort beginning in 2014. Due to its success and global need, a new five-year phase, “GHSA 2024,” was launched. The GHSA 2024 target states that, by 2024, more than 100 countries that have completed a health security capacity evaluation will have undergone planning and resource mobilization to address gaps, and will be in the process of implementing activities to achieve impact. These countries should demonstrate improvements in at least five technical areas. Read more about GHSA.