Management Sciences for Health Applauds the White House’s New Global Health Security Strategy

May 14, 2019

Management Sciences for Health Applauds the White House’s New Global Health Security Strategy

Arlington, VA—May 14, 2019—Management Sciences for Health (MSH) joins the global health community in expressing its deep appreciation to the White House for last week’s release of the Global Health Security Strategy, a whole-of-society approach to preventing, detecting, and responding to infectious disease threats.

“On behalf of MSH and our colleagues in the US and around the world, we commend the White House for recognizing the importance of health security and taking important new steps to protect us from the very real and ever changing threat from infectious diseases,” said Marian W. Wentworth, MSH’s President & CEO.

The new strategy, released Friday, May 10, defines the actions the Administration will take to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease threats. It emphasizes health systems strengthening as a foundation for disease detection and response; establishes metrics for evaluating and improving performance; and commits to research and development as well as sustainable financing into the future. These elements are critical to strengthening global capacity to prevent, detect, and respond rapidly to disease outbreaks.

The strategy also highlights the Global Health Security Agenda—a partnership and action plan for international preparedness to prevent and combat biological threats—as a key mechanism to accelerate progress toward a world safe from infectious disease threats.

MSH, a leading global health NGO, has worked in more than 150 countries over the past 48 years to build health care infrastructure. Currently, MSH is engaged in health security activities around the world—from helping Vietnam bring its laboratory system up to international standards for better surveillance, detection, and diagnosis to supporting the Ministry of Health in Madagascar in its activities to fight an unprecedented outbreak of measles that has infected more than 140,000 people.

“The Global Health Security Strategy is an important step in securing a safer tomorrow. As future financing estimates beyond the current fiscal year were not included in the strategy, we recommend the US Government maintain its commitments through annual updates. We also strongly support the designation of a long-term leader in the National Security Council to oversee interagency review and coordination among the many US agencies that contribute to global health security,” said Ashley Arabasadi, MSH’s health security adviser and former chair of the Global Health Security Agenda Consortium (GHSAC). “We would also like to express our support of Congressman Gerry Connolly and Congressman Steve Chabot’s reintroduction of the bipartisan Global Health Security Act, which solidifies US investments in our ability to prepare for and respond to public health threats and reduce or prevent their spread across borders.”

The Global Health Security Act seeks to address two main issues—that US global health security staffing and activities are largely reliant on an executive order and not specifically supported in law and that the US needs a permanent designated official responsible for coordinating the interagency response to a global health security emergency.

MSH is a member of the Global Health Security Agenda Consortium, a collective of nongovernmental entities dedicated to promote values of collaboration, excellence, innovation, and commitment in implementing the Global Health Security Agenda.