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The Global Health Preparedness Programme

Published

People walking in the street
Photo: Elin H Wyller/NIPH

Since autumn 2013, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) has made efforts to put global health preparedness on the agenda in Norway and internationally.


Three objectives

The Global Health Preparedness Programme at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health has three objectives, in line with the International health regulations (IHR):

  1. To support assessment, prioritisation and implementation of actions to meet specific IHR core capacities in selected partner countries. 
  2. To contribute to global efforts to enhance capacity and procedures for assessment, prioritisation and action to assist all countries to meet their obligations under IHR. 
  3. To strengthen institutional capacity of National Institutes of Public Health, in partner countries, in national collective efforts to prevent, detect, and respond to public health events of national and international concern.

Financial support

The programme is funded with support from the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, Norad, for a period of four years.

Partnering with four countries

Our programme is presently partnering with four countries (MalawiMoldovaPalestine and Ghana), but to help all countries we are engaged in activities to strengthen global health security through a number of international organisations like 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 e.g. 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 carrying out 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 has been set up to facilitate the processes of carrying out Joint External Evaluations, and an ambitious plan has been laid to pursue the assessments, with 60 countries being evaluated per year. 27 countries have carried out their assessments and displayed their findings on the WHO website by June 2017. See link to the country assessments in the link margin.

National focal point

In many countries, the National Public Health Institutes are the natural hub for health preparedness activities and constitutes the IHR national focal point, so also in Norway. The International Association of National Public Health Institutes is a strong network of peer institutions, which support each other in the development, evaluations and capacity building for public health functions.

We work together with this network of Public Health Institutes to enhance organisational and professional capacities with our twinning partners. See left margin for link to the twinning project with the Public Health Institute of Malawi.