The Prime Minister, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda has commended the countries which have embraced the Joint External Evaluation (JEE), an initiative proposed by World Health Organization to enable countries appraise their health sector performance.

PM Rugunda in a photo with the winners of the GHSA competition during the GHSA meeting at Speke Resort Munyonyo on Thursday.Left is Lyzzat from Kazakhstan and Right, is Ashley from Canada(Photo by PMPU)

The Evaluation focuses on a country’s health sector SWOT analysis. The Joint External Evaluation has already been undertaken by 56 countries in the world, and 41of these countries belong to the African continent.

The Prime Minister made the remarks while officiating at the closing of the 4th Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) 2017 organized under the theme “Health Security for all: Engaging Communities, Non-Governmental Organizations and the Private Sector” at Speke Resort Munyonyo on Thursday.

The GHSA is a high level ministerial meeting aimed at supporting countries to build capacity to comply with the International Health Regulations (2005).

Rugunda said the evaluation enables the countries to identify gaps and also mobilize resources for their health sectors basing on the evaluation outcomes.

“The JEE is not aimed at exposing a country’s weakness but instead supports the country to look more objectively at their strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats through development of a costed national action plan,” Rugunda said.

He added that the national action plan enables the countries to roll out their interventions in the areas of weakness as well as strengthen those that are not yet solid, emphasizing that it’s easier for countries to mobilize support from technical and financial partners when there is a clear plan of what the Partners can buy into.

The Premier also called upon countries to innovative ways of securing funds for global health security while ensuring accountability for the use of the funds, noting that limited resources constrains global health security projects and implementation.

He also asked the countries to maximize the funding opportunities availed by the World Bank, through the Pandemic Emergency Fund.

The Director General of World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, in a video message to the delegates, called for joint efforts in the fight against health insecurity through making appropriate investments in the world health sectors.

“We need to streamline our efforts to ways on how we respond to emergencies, as well as assess and respond to risks, because keeping the world safe needs all of us,” Tedros said.

Tedros pledged World Health Organization’s continued support and commitment to improving global health security.

He also thanked Uganda for hosting the Global Health Security Agenda meeting in Africa for the first time.

The Minister of Health, Dr Jane Achieng said Uganda was committed to fighting disease outbreaks and epidemics in the country through sensitizing the masses on measures of controlling the diseases.

She also noted that the public is crucial in capacity building for health especially in the prevention, detection and response to the diseases, and thus called for strengthened effort in this regard.

The Director of Centers for Disease Control of the United States, Dr.  Brenda Fitzgerald pledged the Centers for Disease Control commitment to the Global Health Security Agenda and also called upon countries to focus efforts on improving Global Health Security.

“We must have Global Health Security everywhere because diseases and epidemics spread very fast, even across borders,” Brenda said.

She also commended Uganda for its commitment towards containing epidemics and disease outbreaks.

PM Rugunda shakes hands with a delegate during the GHSA meeting as MoS for Health, Sarah Opendi(L) and other delegates look on at Speke Resort Munyonyo on Thursday(Photo by PMPU)

The Delegates, in the Kampala Declaration on the Global Health Security Agenda, issued at the end of the meeting reaffirmed their vision of a world safe and secure from global health threats posed by infectious diseases.

They stressed the need for control and prevention of outbreaks and protection of people to avoid loss of lives and also sustain the social-economic gains and stability.

The delegates also proposed extension of the GHSA beyond 2018 to 2024, to enable acceleration of the implementation of the International Health Regulations (2005).

During the meeting, the winners of the Nuclear Threat Initiative’s Next Generation for Biosecurity in the Global Health Security Agenda competition were also recognized.

The winners Lyzzat Musralina from Kazakhastan and Ashley Tseng from Canada, proposed the creation of a centrally located biosecurity resource and tools to assist users in reaching biosecurity targets within GHSA and JEE.

The Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) was launched in 2014 and it has a membership of 63 countries from all over the World. This year’s GHSA was attended by Health Ministers and experts on Health from 41 countries across the Globe. The next GHSA will be held in Indonesia.

Ends 

Friday, October 27, 2017

BY DOREEN NASASIRA