18 February 2014
27 states launch Global Health Security Agenda to prevent and contain infectious diseases
Twenty-seven states, the World Health Organization (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), have launched an effort to improve the ability to prevent, detect, respond to and contain outbreaks of dangerous infectious diseases.
The Global Health Security Agenda aims to prevent avoidable epidemics by, for instance, keeping to a minimum the number of labs worldwide that store dangerous microbes and by extending vaccination programs. Another goal is to detect threats early, such as by promoting faster sharing of biological samples.
The Agenda was formed to take on outbreaks of dangerous infectious diseases, whether they are natural, accidental or intentional, as in the case of a biological weapon.
Kathleen Sebelius, United States Health and Human Services Secretary, said: ‘[g]lobal health security is a shared responsibility; no one country can achieve it alone.’