From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Global Health Security Index, 2021
Mains level : Health security
Countries across all income levels remain dangerously unprepared to meet future epidemic and pandemic threats, according to the new 2021 Global Health Security (GHS) Index.
About GHS Index
- The GHS Index is the first comprehensive assessment and benchmarking of health security and related capabilities across the 195 countries that make up the States Parties to the International Health Regulations.
- It is a project of the Johns Hopkins Centre for Health Security, the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) and the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and was first launched in October 2019.
- It assesses countries across 6 categories, 37 indicators, and 171 questions using publicly available information.
- It benchmarks health security in the context of other factors critical to fighting outbreaks, such as political and security risks, the broader strength of the health system, and country adherence to global norms.
The report is based on a questionnaire of 140 questions, organized across 6 categories, 34 indicators, and 85 sub-indicators. The six categories are:
- Prevention: Prevention of the emergence or release of pathogens
- Detection and Reporting: Early detection and reporting for epidemics of potential international concern
- Rapid Response: Rapid response to and mitigation of the spread of an epidemic
- Health System: Sufficient and robust health system to treat the sick and protect health workers
- Compliance with International Norms: Commitments to improving national capacity, financing plans to address gaps, and adhering to global norms
- Risk Environment: Overall risk environment and country vulnerability to biological threats
- In 2021, no country scored in the top tier of rankings and no country scored above 75.9, the report showed.
- The world’s overall performance on the GHS Index score slipped to 38.9 (out of 100) in 2021, from a score of 40.2 in the GHS Index, 2019.
- This, even as infectious diseases are expected to have the greatest impact on the global economy in the next decade.
- Some 101 countries high-, middle- and low-income countries, including India, have slipped in performance since 2019.
- India, with a score of 42.8 (out of 100) too, has slipped by 0.8 points since 2019.
- Three neighboring countries — Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Maldives — have improved their score by 1-1.2 points.
- Health emergencies demand a robust public health infrastructure with effective governance.
- The trust in government, which has been a key factor associated with success in countries’ responses to COVID-19, is low and decreasing, the index noted.