An October 2020 commentary in The BMJ highlights the value of the Global Health Security (GHS) Index as a practical tool that can help inform global policy makers and practitioners. “The value proposition of the Global Health Security Index” was authored by members of the GHS Index project team at the Nuclear Threat Initiative, the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, The Economist Intelligence Unit, and multiple members of the GHS Index International Panel of Experts.
Written as a response to an April 2020 article in The BMJ that questioned the value added of the GHS Index, the authors highlighted ways in which the GHS Index stands out among other tools for improving global health preparedness and security. Among them:
- The GHS Index can help decision makers identify weaknesses in systems for preventing, detecting, and responding to outbreaks, while also considering relevant social, political, and environmental risk factors.
- Using publicly available information, the GHS Index documents where health security capacities are strong and where there are gaps requiring leadership attention.
- GHS Index scores and ranks, underpinned by a robust methodology, are entry points into deeper analyses of health system capacities and performance.
- Future iterations of the GHS Index will incorporate lessons learned from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
In October 2019, the inaugural GHS Index published this overarching conclusion: No country is fully prepared for epidemics or pandemics, and every country has important gaps to address. This finding was unfortunately prescient, as throughout 2020 countries have struggled to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. As the new article states, “It is more important than ever for the global community to take stock of its strengths and vulnerabilities and capitalize on opportunities to chart paths towards a safer, securer world.”
Read “The value proposition of the Global Health Security Index,” on The BMJ’s website here.