Connect with us

News

World unprepared for future pandemics: Global Health Security Index 2021

Published

on

The world remains unprepared for future epidemic and pandemic threats. 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 released December 8, 2021.

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.

In South Asia, India, with a score of 42.8 (out of 100) too, has slipped by 0.8 points since 2019. But three neighbouring countries — Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Maldives — have improved their score by 1-1.2 points

In 2021, no country scored in the top tier of rankings and no country scored above 75.9, the report showed.

The document was jointly released by non-profits Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) and the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.

All countries had insufficient health capacities. This left the world acutely vulnerable to future health emergencies, according to the Index that measured the capacities of 195 countries to prepare for epidemics and pandemics

Sixty-five per cent of assessed countries had not published and implemented an overarching national public health emergency response plan for diseases with epidemic or pandemic potential.

Seventy-three per cent countries did not have the ability to provide expedited approval for medical countermeasures, such as vaccines and antiviral drugs, during a public health emergency.

Thus, the world was acutely vulnerable to health emergencies in the future. These included pandemics that could be much more devastating than the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the second edition of the GHS Index, said.

The findings of the GHS Index 2021 are based on a revised framework and updated data collection conducted between August 2020 and June 2021.

It has assessed countries across six categories, 37 indicators and 171 questions, using instantly available information.

Most countries, including high-income ones, have not made dedicated financial investments in strengthening epidemic or pandemic preparedness, according to the GHS Index 2021.

Close to 79 per cent of the 195 countries assessed had not allocated national funds within the past three years to improve their capacity to address epidemic threats, it found.

In fact, just two low-income countries have allocated funds. Some 90 countries have not fulfilled their full financial contribution to the World Health Organization. Fourteen of these are high-income countries.

Just one-fourth of the countries considered in the Index have published an updated health workforce strategy over the past five years to address the shortage of health work force.

Health emergencies demand a robust public health infrastructure with effective governance. But 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.

A whopping 82 per cent of countries have low to moderate levels of public confidence in their government, according to the Index.

The world’s performance on communicating the risk communication messages to people has also been very disappointing.

Over 71 per cent of the countries did not identify how risk communication messages would reach populations and sectors with different communication needs related to language, location and media reach.

– Down to Earth



Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

News

Now, CEB plans to ‘rationalise’ tariff

Published

on

By Ifham Nizam

Plans are afoot to ‘rationalise’ the electricity tariff shortly, Ceylon Electricity Board Chairman M.M.C. Ferdinando said, adding that the 52-year-old system should be changed for the betterment of the electricity consumer.

CEB Chief told The Island the CEB tariffs need to be changed to better reflect the use and the income level of the consumer. Ferdinando added that he had already briefed President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on it.

Ferdinanado said that right now waste and corruption on CEB’s part had also been added to the consumers’ bill.

He said the CEB had received 1500 MT of fuel yesterday and would receive another shipment soon. However, thort-term power interruptions would continue in several areas until the operations at the Kelanitissa Power Station returns to normal.

“The power interruptions are an annoyance and we are looking for solutions. We too want to provide an uninterrupted power supply to our customers. Our hydro-power generation capacity is low as water levels in reservoirs are receding,” he said.

CEB’s Systems Control Department officials said that power outages might be experienced for one and a half hours due to problems at the Kelanitissa thermal plant complex.

CEB Media Spokesman, Additional General Manager Andrew Navamani said that the national grid had lost 282 MW due to the issues at Kelanitissa thermal plant. He said the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation had informed the CEB that necessary stocks of fuel for Kelanitissa power plant would be provided by yesterday night.

However, it would take several hours to start the generators, he said.

Continue Reading

News

Ranil calls on MPs to think anew to find solutions to problems engulfing country

Published

on

By Saman Indrajith

Traditional politics did not have solutions to problems and the MPs should think anew to find solutions, UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament yesterday.

Participating in the adjournment debate on President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s policy statement, the UNP leader said: We have come to the end of politics. If we go by the words of Francis Fukuyama, it is a question of the end of politics. But that does not mean the end of parliament. We in parliament must think afresh. We must have the strength of finding a new way. We must discuss on bringing about long-term policies which could provide us with a new framework to find solutions for the problems of the people. Thereafter we can go for elections and ask people to decide who or which party could do better. Japan did so. Great Britain is doing so. India and Canada do the same. Why cannot we do it here? If we have common consensus here, we can plan to go for a new era. We must understand this reality.

“The President has commenced this new session at a time when the country is faced with the biggest economic and political crisis in 34 years. In his statement he mentioned only the foreign reserve crisis. The economic crisis we are facing is far more critical than that. We created a middle class with open economic policies. With the collapse of the open economy, the middle class too will collapse. There are a handful of companies and individuals who could earn profits while the entire economy is collapsing. We must decide whether we’ll perish or unite to work out a plan to survive,” Wickremesinghe said.

“We have come to the end of traditional politics. We may shout at each other and go out to shout slogans. None of them will be able to help us find solutions. The problems at hand cannot be solved without a policy framework and strong middle-term plan. What we are facing today is the end of traditional politics,” he said.

Continue Reading

News

Chandrika says Sirisena should be thrown out of SLFP

Published

on

Former President Maithripala Sirisena should be thrown out of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) for making it a junior partner of Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga said on Wednesday night after appearing before the Special Presidential Commission of Inquiry (SPCoI) appointed to implement the recommendations of the final report of the PCoI into alleged Political Victimisation.

Both Sirisena and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa had destroyed the SLFP, she alleged.

The former President said that she had urged Sirisena not to join the SLPP as that would mark the end of the SLFP.

“I repeatedly told him this and in response Sirisena removed me from the party’s Central Committee and stripped me of my organiser’s post.

Now, Sirisena is saying the same things I said about the SLPP. Even during the war, I managed to get the economy up and running. Look at it now, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry,” she said.

Bandaranaike was also critical of the SPCoI, stating that she had not been summoned before the PCoI on Political Victimisation for her to respond to any allegations against her.

Continue Reading

Trending