Global Health Security
Global health security is a top priority for the US and the international community. Disease outbreaks can devastate communities and entire countries with far-reaching impacts on economic growth, increased political instability, and delays in reaching international development goals and milestones. A single infectious disease outbreak anywhere in the world has the potential to become an epidemic, or worse, a pandemic, as COVID-19 is showing us all too well.
To help countries better prepare to prevent and respond to infectious disease outbreaks, MSH works at all levels of the health system to help strengthen and build resilient systems. Our unique approach ensures active prevention and constant readiness by working with national, district, and community stakeholders to increase their capacity to identify threats and lead an effective local response—stopping outbreaks at the source.
We work with countries to build resilient health systems that, in the event of an outbreak, continue to provide essential quality care and services. We invest in local leadership and increase efficacy and accountability mechanisms for a rapid multisectoral response—resulting in lives saved and economies protected. Here’s how:
Surveillance: In partnership with local authorities, we help improve existing mechanisms or build new ones to integrate infectious disease detection, surveillance, and response by establishing reporting systems and strengthening early warning systems at the hospital, community, and district levels. MSH supports the integration of outbreak surveillance systems with national health information systems to promote real-time notification and faster, data-informed decision making.
Infection Prevention and Control: MSH develops national infection prevention and control strategies and supports their implementation with frontline health workers.
National Pandemic Preparedness Planning: MSH works at all levels of the health system, from the Ministry to the community level, to build the local capabilities needed for effective, rapid response. This includes defining agency roles, responsibilities, and priority actions; planning for, procuring, and distributing needed commodities; public health communications; health care planning; and business continuity planning.
Commodity Management: MSH supports national planning for commodities management and builds capacity for procurement, inventory management, and costing of medicines and technologies. We work with local, national, and regional government bodies to update procurement plans, implement electronic and paper-based inventory management systems, and train governing bodies within the pharmaceutical supply chain on commodity management.
Regulatory Support: MSH helps governments improve their regulatory frameworks to develop and implement regulations and guidelines for handling pharmaceuticals and other health commodities to prevent and treat infectious diseases. We assist countries to review and implement national regulations to expedite commodity imports; fast-track registration of diagnostic equipment, vaccines, and medicines; and enhance pharmacovigilance systems.
Diagnostic and Laboratory Capacity: MSH supports countries in strengthening diagnostic capacities and developing training materials and biosafety guidelines for handling and processing specimens. We provide technical expertise in equipping laboratories to meet Biosafety Level 3 standards and support them in securing international accreditations.
Health Financing: We provide countries with cost analyses to help them design innovative financing and resource mobilization strategies, such as community-based health insurance tailored to local needs and economies.
Advocacy and Stakeholder Coordination: MSH increases cross-sectoral collaboration to improve epidemic preparedness and build leadership, management, and governance practices. We strengthen community networks and coalitions and establish oversight and accountability mechanisms, such as coordination and planning committees, to support effective emergency preparedness plans and cross-sectoral action when outbreaks happen. MSH works with lawmakers and agencies to educate key decision makers on the continued importance of funding health security globally. We actively support the introduction of legislation designed to protect the US from global health threats.
Leadership Development: We help develop strong leadership for outbreak coordination; facilitate cross-border preparedness, collaboration, and learning; build the preparedness and response capacities of civil society groups; and improve transparent public communication. MSH’s flagship Leadership Development Program (LDP), proven in diverse settings worldwide, helps us organize and empower teams to quickly advance outbreak preparedness priorities and responses, such as surveillance reporting, public communication, and contact investigation.