Advancing Global Health Security

The Global Health Security Agenda: Keeping Us Safer At Home and Around the World


Because of the nature of infectious diseases, we all remain vulnerable, including in the United States, until every country in the world can rapidly identify and contain public health threats. Through the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA), launched in 2014 to strengthen the world’s ability to prevent, detect, and respond to public health emergencies, CDC invests in creating strong public health systems globally to lessen the chance that dangerous diseases will affect the United States. Because of these investments, many countries have reduced their outbreak response times and halted outbreaks in their tracks. In 2018, Vietnam trained nearly 9,000 public health workers and reported 4,323 potential public health events, 317 of which required a public health response. Similarly, in Burkina Faso, training of health care workers and community workers increased detection of unusual events from 14 cases in over a year to 23 cases in just over three months. In Uganda, CDC–trained scientists used modern diagnostics to rule out Ebola and confirm cases of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever within 24 hours of alert. Through our unique public health expertise in disease surveillance, laboratory science and networks, public health workforce development, emergency management, and real-time data for evaluation and action, CDC helps countries strengthen public health systems and contain outbreaks before they spread into regional epidemics or global pandemics.

Global Health Security Agenda 2019-2024

5th GHSA Ministerial Meeting

2018 Global Health Security Agenda Ministerial Meeting in Indonesia.

At the 2017 GHSA Ministerial Meeting in Uganda, member countries supported extending GHSA from 2019 to 2024. This next five-year phase of GHSA, known as “GHSA 2024,” was officially launched during the 2018 Ministerial Meeting in Indonesia and aims to facilitate high-level and multisectoral work toward sustainable and measurable advances in health security. GHSA 2024’s target is for more than 100 countries to improve health security-related technical areas within five years. CDC is a major contributor to and leader of the US government’s commitment to this next phase of GHSA and supports international collaboration, increased engagement, measured progress, and accountability across the GHSA community (i.e., the private sector, nongovernmental organizations, and others) for meeting and exceeding commitments.

The Economic Impact of Global Health Security

Global outbreaks can have devastating local impacts. In 2018, CDC published a series of articles demonstrating clearly that an outbreak in a single country overseas can put US exports and jobs at risk. When an uncontained outbreak becomes a regional or even global epidemic, potential costs skyrocket and the number of American jobs threatened multiplies.

The first article demonstrates how the US economy is linked to CDC’s global health security focus countries, as these countries support more than $308 billion in US exports and more than 1.6 million US jobs. The second article models the impact of a hypothetical outbreak and how it could put more than 1.37 million US jobs at risk if not controlled. The third article describes the relevance of global health security to US domestic interests, including state and local preparedness, travel, tourism, education, exports, jobs, agriculture, and partnerships.

In our increasingly interconnected world, advancing global health security can help protect Americans and people around the world from the health and economic consequences of disease outbreaks and public health emergencies.

Page last reviewed: March 11, 2019
Content source: Global Health