The world is coming together to respond to global health threats.
Just last Friday, I welcomed leaders from across the globe to Washington, D.C. for the 16th Annual Global Health Security Initiative (GHSI) Ministerial Meeting. I sat down with the health ministers and senior delegates from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, México, the United Kingdom, the European Commission, and the World Health Organization.
The GHSI network is a crucial forum to work together on global health security threats. Since 2001, our nations have come together to discuss the lessons we’ve learned from past crises and to prepare for future challenges. Since that first meeting, we have met in person every year to make sure we are individually and collectively ready to respond to global public health emergencies.
This year, we agreed to collaborate on more efficient and rapid ways to respond to global health security threats. We discussed how important it is to rapidly share biological samples, so we can quickly understand outbreaks and implement the best response. We agreed to quickly finalize a Sample Sharing Framework, which provides a process for sharing biological materials and a model material transfer agreement that will help countries share samples during public health emergencies. And we talked about lessons learned from the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa, and how we can use these in our response to the recent outbreak of the Zika virus.
We also agreed that strengthening existing partnerships and institutions is key to how we’ll be prepared in the future. We focused on fulfilling the targets of the Global Health Security Agenda, improving the emergency response system for the WHO and linking with the pandemic preparedness efforts of the World Bank. And this week, because this work across nations is so important, we released an updated version of the HHS Global Strategy. The health and safety of Americans and people around the world are more closely linked than ever before.
Global health security is a responsibility we all share. So we’re putting these strategies and these frameworks to work on the Zika virus outbreak. Based on what we know, we are focused on reducing the risk to pregnant women through prevention, detection and response.
Global health security requires a global response. That’s what we are working on across nations and across oceans. This is our commitment as members of the World Health Organization and the global health security partnerships, and our responsibility as global citizens.
So as we continue our work together, I want to share a few snapshots from the 16th GHSI Ministerial meeting with you:
For the complete set of snapshots, see the original post on the HHS Blog.