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ASSESSING COUNTRIES' GLOBAL HEALTH SECURITY CAPABILITIES
An International Public Health Symposium Convened by the UPMC Center for Health Security
October 19, 2016
W Hotel, Washington, DC
From June 20-July 2, 2016, a six-person External Assessment Team from the UPMC Center for Health Security met with governmental leaders in Taipei, Taiwan to conduct an independent assessment of Taiwan’s capabilities under the Internal Health Regulations (2005) and its related progress toward the “Protect, Detect, and Respond” goals of Global Health Security Agenda.
The Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) is an effort by nations, international organizations, and civil society to accelerate progress toward a world safe and secure from infectious disease threats. Countries that have signed on to the GHSA are encouraged to submit to external assessments of their global health security capacities and publicly publish the results. In working with the Center, Taiwan is the 14th country to undergo a complete multi-sectoral GHSA assessment and publish the results and only the 8th country to do so using the new WHO International Health Regulations Joint External Evaluation (JEE) Tool.
The JEE Tool provides a standard metric by which countries can assess their current baseline capabilities and measure future progress. The JEE Tool was used to assess Taiwan’s collective capabilities, not just those of the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) or Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (TCDC). Many of the required capabilities involve other governmental agencies as well, such as agriculture, defense, border control, environmental protection, and nuclear power. Therefore, the external evaluation of Taiwan’s capabilities emphasized cross-sectoral and interagency collaboration.
Related to this assessment, three visiting scholars from TCDC are in residence at the Center in Baltimore for three months, conducting public health policy research and preparing papers to be published in a special issue of our Health Security journal and presented at an international symposium on Assessing Countries' Global Health Security Capabilities, convened by the Center in Washington, DC on October 19, 2016. The symposium was attended by the former TCDC Director General and current TCDC Deputy Director General and technical experts from across TCDC as well as representatives from the US government, including the Department of Health and Human Services and US Department of Agriculture. Subject areas included the public health and preparedness programs in Taiwan and the JEE experience in Taiwan, the United States, and other countries.