Improving security and preparedness worldwide
In addition to supporting and collaborating with partner countries, The Global Health Preparedness Programme is engaged in several global arenas that focus on improving health security and preparedness worldwide. The main collaborating partner is the World Health Organization (WHO), the responsible organisation for coordinating efforts to improve the implementation of the international health regulations in all countries.
One of the objectives for the Global Health Preparedness Programme relates to the support and contribution to global processes to help all countries (meaning the global community) to meet their obligations according to the international health regulations (IHR). Our programme is presently partnering with four countries (Malawi, Moldova, Palestine and Ghana).
Huge gaps to fill
To support initiatives that will benefit all countries we are engaged in activities to strengthen global health security through a number of international organisations including the WHO, the Global Health Security Agenda, the Alliance for Country Assessments and the International Association of National Public Health Institutes. Article 44 of the IHR states that countries shall collaborate with each other in fulfilling the IHR requirements, both with technical and financial support. There are huge gaps to fill to make this a reality.
WHO is the main actor for global health preparedness and response, but its strength is dependent on financial and professional contributions from its member states. Through the Global Health Preparedness Programme we contribute to processes related to evaluations of acute incidents of public health concern, we are engaged in the further development of instruments and tools for monitoring and evaluations of the IHR capacities, like the Joint External Evaluation Tool, and we have participated in Joint External Evaluations in several countries. We also support our Ministry of Health and Norad in formal processes related to the Regional and Annual meetings in the WHO.
Global Health Security Agenda
The Global Health Security Agenda was established in collaboration with WHO, FAO and OIE to support countries in their efforts to implement the IHR, and to build capacities for the prevention, detection and response to infectious disease outbreaks throughout the world. Norway has been a partner of this collaboration from its inception in 2014 and the Global Health Preparedness Programme is a part of the Norwegian contribution to the initiative. We actively participate in two work packages, about Antimicrobial Resistance and Surveillance.
The Alliance of Country Assessments was set up to facilitate the processes of carrying out Joint External Evaluations, and an ambitious plan has been stipulated to pursue the assessments, with 60 countries being evaluated per year. 35 countries have carried out their assessments and displayed their findings on the WHO website by August 2017.
National focal point
In many countries, the national public health institute is the natural hub for health preparedness activities and constitutes the IHR national focal point, including Norway. The International Association of National Public Health Institutes is a strong network of peer institutions, which support each other in developing, evaluating and building capacity for public health functions. We work together with this network of Public Health Institutes to enhance organisational and professional capacities with our partners, like in Malawi.