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In JAMA article, Center for Health Security authors advocate for continued US investment in Global Health Security Agenda

By Nick Alexopulos | Nov. 30, 2017

Additional US government funding to support the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) is needed to protect the world from epidemic disease, write three authors from the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in a JAMA article published this week.

In their article, “Continued US Investment Necessary to Sustain Momentum Towards Global Health Security,” Senior Associate Jennifer Nuzzo, PhD, Deputy Director Anita Cicero, JD, and Director Tom Inglesby, MD, enumerate early GHSA successes and describe opportunities to build on progress to date. GHSA is an international initiative to keep the world safe from infectious disease threats by helping countries improve their public health capacities.

“The GHSA is a powerful tool for ensuring that global gaps in health security are addressed before disease outbreaks occur,” write Nuzzo and colleagues.

GHSA was launched by the United States in 2014 and received significant investments from other G-7 nations following a US commitment of $1 billion. Most US funds were designated for US work in nations vulnerable to infectious disease outbreaks due to limited public health infrastructure. However, this funding will run out in 2019. Without $100-200 million per year, say the Center authors, US overseas GHSA operations will be shuttered—and the decision would send the wrong signal to other nations.

“US leadership has been essential for the success of the GHSA,” the Center authors write in JAMA. “As the GHSA enters its second phase, countries will look for signs of continued US support. Failing to allocate additional GHSA funding would send a negative signal to international partners, which may erode the initiative’s political capital and diminish other countries’ commitments.”

Read the authors’ full JAMA Viewpoint article at jamanetwork.com.

About the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security:
The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security works to protect people from epidemics and disasters and build resilient communities through innovative scholarship, engagement, and research that strengthens the organizations, systems, policies, and programs essential to preventing and responding to public health crises. The Center is part of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and is located in Baltimore, MD.