What is health security? “Health security is the awareness of being secure that health is good and if not there are ways to obtain care to return to good health. It aims to guarantee a minimum protection from diseases and unhealthy lifestyles” https://goo.gl/pWDRHK).
Over the past 17 years thousands of lives have been lost, and billions of dollars of countries income have been wiped out due to multiple pandemics. Most recently, there has been the terrible effects of Zika in Latin American countries, and Ebola in Africa. Scientists know and predict that random mutations of microbes and the possibility of intended or accidental release of synthesized agents is possible (www.healthmap.org).
Statistics posted by healthmap.org in December 2015 indicate the most notable disease outbreaks include dengue in over 100 countries, and the Africa Ebola virus disease with a total of 28,600 cases and 11,300 deaths. Other diseases were the measles outbreak in California in December 2014, and the 2014-2015 influenza outbreak in the United States. In India, the H1N1 influenza outbreak infected 29,938 people and killed 1,731. MERS (Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome) usually found in the Arabian Peninsula Region found its way to South Korea resulting in 186 cases and 36 deaths. Chikungunya, a vector-borne disease originally found in Tanzania has spread Africa, Asia, Europe and the West Indies with over 1.7 million cases reported, and 607,961 autonomous cases in 2015 (www.healthmap.org).
Furthermore, the Avian Influenza was another epidemic that affected large poultry producers in the United States. The H5N2 strain reportedly affected 48,082,293 birds which eventually resulted in cullying of numerous bird populations, and increased the cost of eggs, chicken, and turkey.
Moreover, startling scientific evidence reveals that antimicrobial resistance to antibiotics has skyrocketed to a reportedly 60% of infections being resistant to one or more antimicrobials today (http://www.healthmap.org/en/).
So, what are countries doing about these pandemics and outbreaks? How are they investing in Health Security? Peter Sands, Chair International Working Group on Financing Preparedness, states that over the last 12 months’ progress is being made to assist countries in developing three key priorities, “strengthening preparedness at a national level; improving coordination and capabilities at a regional and global level; and accelerating R&D (research and development) in this arena” (https://goo.gl/ACaQaw).
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