This guest post was written by GHC Board Chairman Dr. Jonathan Quick and was originally published on The Huffington Post website.
No More Epidemics (NME) is calling on all countries to publish their completed assessments of national capacities to prevent, detect and respond to epidemic threats, known as the Joint External Evaluation (JEE). Ethiopia, Liberia, Peru, Uganda, UK, and the US have openly shared theirs.
Data transparency and accountability are vital to address global health threats. Unless these documents are made public it will be impossible for civil society to either hold governments accountable for their obligations under the International Health Regulations (IHR), or to support governments in their compliance efforts.
More than 55 nations have joined the effort to combat highly infectious disease by signing on to the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA), and a number of participating countries have undergone the multi-sectoral JEE and developed five-year national country roadmaps to address gaps in health infrastructure and capabilities. A number of countries have already completed a JEE. Another 27 countries are planning to undergo a JEE by May – yet, only 13 finalized JEEs and 12 country roadmaps are available online to the public.
Knowledge of baseline data provided by the JEE will result in more effective programming, prevention and detection of infectious disease outbreaks and early response. The JEE and roadmap processes are critical tools for civil society to use in developing appropriate and adequate programming to help countries close health systems gaps and become IHR-compliant. Transparency and accountability are vital in addressing global health threats.
No More Epidemics urges all countries carrying out their Joint External Evaluations to make the results publically available and for these to be made available on the World Health Organization’s Strategic Partnership Portal, the online repository for tracking funding, donor profiles and country level data.
No More Epidemics is a five-year global campaign to encourage governments and key stakeholders to better prevent, prepare and respond to infectious disease epidemics. Established in 2015 by Management Science for Health, International Medical Corps, Save the Children and the African Field Epidemiology Network, the Campaign was officially launched in November 2015 in South Africa. The Campaign seeks to ensure the development of national preparedness plans that include community protection and mitigation; ensure all States comply with the International Health Regulations; and increase international and national funding levels for epidemic preparedness, prevention and response.