The 4th Global Health Security Agenda High-Level Ministerial Meeting

 Concept Note 

The Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA), launched in February 2014, is a growing partnership of over 50 nations, international organizations, and non-governmental stakeholders. Its primary goal is to help countries build their capacity to contribute towards a world safe from epidemic threats and to elevate global health security as a national and global priority. It serves as an ‘accelerator’ to support countries, WHO and other organizations in the implementation of the International Health Regulations (IHR) (2005). For more about the GHSA, click on the About the GHSA tab on the left.

The process of implementing the GHSA has evolved and led to concrete commitments by countries and other partners. Broadly, these are driven by the annual ministerial meetings, punctuated by technical and Steering Committee meetings, the latter of which took place at WHO, Geneva in 2016 and 2017, and Bali, Indonesia, in 2016. At the Seoul Ministerial Meeting in 2015, member countries committed to work towards strengthening GHSA objectives, while in the Bali 2016 technical meeting, the 11 Action Packages of GHSA were incorporated into the WHO Joint External Evaluation tool in order to strengthen monitoring and evaluation of both national and global health security capacities.

Member States have been sharing their experiences and good practices through GHSA meetings. These meetings, with their themes in the table below, have been a driving force for moving the health security agenda forward.  

Place and dateThemeMain focus
The White House, Washington, DC, 2014Commitments to ActionDeveloped 11 Action Packages outlining measurable steps to prevent, detect in real time, and rapidly respond to infectious disease threats, whether naturally occurring, accidental, or intentional
Seoul, Republic of Korea, 2015Health Security and Multi-sectoral Cooperation  Regional and international cooperation to advance GHSA and implement the APs
 Rotterdam, The Netherlands, 2016Practice to be ReadyCreate a 'Sense of Urgency' and increase collaboration among health and non-health, governmental and non-governmental partners to institutionalize GHSA best practices
 Kampala, The Republic of Uganda, 2017Health Security for AllBuild country ownership, and engage communities, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, academia, and development partners in GHSA

The WHO’s Joint External Evaluation (JEE) process has been used by many GHSA members to identify gaps in their capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease threats. The JEEs have identified an important gap for many countries where there is inadequate or minimal capacity at the subnational and community levels. It is thus imperative that we commit to build relevant capacity at these levels to ensure an all-inclusive, whole-of-society approach for national GHS programs to be comprehensive, resilient and sustainable. These efforts need to be integrated into routine sectoral programs in order to build country ownership and maintain health, taking into consideration both government and non-government actors as well as the private sector.

Although resource-constrained, Uganda has served as a regional model for numerous African countries since the launch of the GHSA in 2014. It has provided leadership in advancing the GHSA as exemplified by the technical support it provided to the West Africa Ebola epidemic in the form of training curricula, guidelines, standard operating procedures, and reporting tools developed in Uganda.

This year, the Government of Uganda (GOU) will be hosting the 4th Annual GHSA Ministerial Meeting. Uganda considers the GHSA as a high-priority initiative that is imperative to sustain and further the global Sustainable Development Goals. Uganda was one of the first countries to pilot the GHSA globally and one of the first GHSA member states to undergo a full-fledged GHSA assessment in 2015; it will now be the first African country to host the Annual GHSA Ministerial Meeting.

The GOU is hosting this high-level Ministerial Meeting as a platform for member states to share and learn from each other’s experiences in implementing the GHSA action packages, as well as in integrating GHS actions into relevant national and subnational programs in a sustainable and all-inclusive way.

Therefore, the theme of the 2017 Kampala 4th Annual GHSA High Level Ministerial Meeting is:

"HEALTH SECURITY FOR ALL: Engaging Communities, Non-Governmental Organizations, and the Private Sector"

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