Connecting the dots: how U.S. global health programs can improve international health regulation compliance
Wesley, Brad A.
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With a 2012 deadline, the majority of the World Health Organization (WHO) member states failed to achieve the legal obligations mandated under the International Health Regulations (IHR) of 2005. This lack of compliance coincides with the increased recognition of the threats posed by pandemics and infectious diseases. As the largest contributor of foreign global health assistance, the United States can serve an instrumental role in supporting global IHR compliance. This thesis analyzes, by U.S. government agency, which current global health programs and efforts align to the core capacities WHO member states are required to develop per the IHR. The agencies analyzed are the United States Agency for International Development, the U.S. Department of Defense, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As indicated in this thesis, all three agencies have cross-cutting efforts to assist WHO member states; however, four key programs align greatly to specific IHR core capacities. Moving forward, decision makers can utilize these key U.S. global health programs to address WHO member states’ core capacity deficiencies in surveillance, response, laboratory, and human resources. Finally, recommendations are given to address IHR monitoring and reporting, as well as gaps in critical core capacities and U.S. global health programs.
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