What are GHSA Stories of Impact?
Stories of impact are useful way to systematically document evidence, work visibility, knowledge sharing, progress and networking across the member states. Moreover, this narrative approach can also be used as a tool for improvement, while at the same time support the data derived from traditional evaluation measures in various countries.
How can GHSA Members submit a Story of Impact?
Submitted stories of impact will be reviewed by the secretariat and Steering Group prior to finalization and publishing.
Why are stories of impact important?
The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted known and previously unrecognized limitations in national and global capacities to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease threats. GHSA strengthens partnerships among countries, international organizations, and nongovernmental stakeholders who have worked together to identify gaps, develop plans to address them, identify needed resources, and develop and share best practices and tools Documenting stories of impact can encourage country and non-governmental stakeholders to join and participate actively in GHSA and catalyze support to address common and priority needs across GHSA member countries.
- Cote D′Ivoire
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- The Gambia
- United Kingdom
Bangladesh Strengthens Preparedness Capacity through JEE and Biosafety Support Measures
Bangladesh has made strong advances towards strengthening preparedness capacity and biosafety, completing a Joint External Evaluation in 2016, which aided in fortifying partnerships and identifying gaps within public health security measures. Additionally, Bangladesh has developed a national action plan for antimicrobial resistance (AMR) containment and contributed to developing the National Action Plan for Health Security, integrating health security into a cross-sectoral based security agenda. Aligning with JEE frameworks, the country has also implemented bio-safety and bio-security practices within their National Public Health laboratories.
Cameroon’s Public Health Emergency Operations Center serves as the focal point for COVID-19 response
Cameroon’s Public Health Emergency Operations Center (PHEOC) has been activated for COVID-19, cholera, and increased maternal, perinatal, and neonatal deaths. As the focal point of Cameroon’s COVID-19 response, the PHEOC supported the development of a National Plan for COVID-19 Operational Research, created a COVID-19 emergency response plan, strengthened surveillance, and developed data collection tools and training data clerks at district and regional levels. The PHEOC also engaged with the MoH and U.S. Government technical experts to improve and standardize surveillance and response tools to decrease avoidable maternal, perinatal, and neonatal deaths.
Cameroon’s Public Health Emergency Operations Center serves as the focal point for COVID-19 response
Graduates and current fellows of Cameroon’s robust Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP) played a crucial role in responding to COVID-19 as well as yellow fever, cholera, malaria, and other diseases. The FETP graduates and current fellows supported outbreak investigations throughout various regions and health districts, strengthened surveillance efforts, laboratories, and regional-level health departments, and collaborated with different partners, including other countries in the West/Central Africa region, on outbreak and response work.
Africa Cup of Nations safely hosted in Cameroon despite COVID-19
Cameroon hosted the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), Africa’s biggest soccer tournament, from January 9 – February 6, 2022. The MoH, in collaboration with the U.S. CDC, developed COVID-19 mitigation and safety measures including requiring proof of full vaccination status to attend the games and access stadiums, other public viewing places, and hotels. Leading up to AFCON, the MoH opened more vaccination sites. The MoH and CDC also collaborated with Google and Apple to utilize a COVID-19 exposure notification system to verify game attendees’ vaccination status.
Strengthening Cote d’Ivoire’s Public Health Workforce Through FETP
Cote d’Ivoire’s Ministry of Health worked with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the African Field Epidemiology Network to facilitate the first Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP)-Intermediate workshop from June 21 – July 2, 2021. Fourteen participants from the Ministry of Health engaged in the first FETP-Intermediate trainings.
Adapting Trainings in Response to COVID-19
Institute Pasteur of Cote d’Ivoire received support to stand up multimedia spaces to conduct virtual trainings since in-person meetings were halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Virtual meetings were organized for experts from across the West African sub-region to exchange information and guidelines for COVID-19 response, for training personnel on lab procedures, and for health systems strengthening trainings.
Public Health Emergency Operations Centers Enable Rapid Response to Public Health Threats
In 2019, a presidential decree ordered the creation of Public Health Emergency Operations Centers (PHEOCs) in six priority health regions in Cote d’Ivoire (Tonkpi, Cavally, San Pedro, Kabadougou, Gbeke and South Comoe). In 2021, national public health institute collaborated with international partners and the defense and security sectors to conduct exercises in priority health regions in using a One Health (human, animal, and environmental health) approach for responding to a hypothetical Ebola outbreak in Cote d’Ivoire.
DRC expands laboratory capacity in response to Ebola, COVID-19, and HIV
DRC is working in collaboration with U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S. CDC) and other partners to expand its capacity to detect and respond to various diseases across multiple laboratories. In 2020, Lualaba province’s first molecular lab capable of performing Early Infant Diagnosis and HIV viral load tests, as well as COVID-19 testing, became operational.
Equipment, supplies, training, and technical support were provided to labs in Ingende and Kinshasa to improve critical diagnostic testing and sequencing activities for Ebola, malaria, and other pathogens. Reliable data communication was ensured with the installation of solar power and internet.
DRC works towards establishing National Public Health Institute (NPHI)
In July 2021, the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Ministry of Health (MoH) and General Directorate for Disease Control convened a technical working group (TWG) to establish a National Public Health Institute (NPHI). The NPHI’s purpose is to lead and coordinate public health functions, in particular, the detection of and response to public health threats in-country. Based on DRC’s existing public health system gaps and capabilities, the TWG adapted the Africa CDC-defined core public health functions of an NPHI to DRC’s context and added an additional function to document emergency response efforts to better learn from past outbreak response efforts and better prepare for future ones, especially for Ebola.
The Gambia’s COVID-19 Response
The Government of The Gambia has committed $10 million USD to the COVID-19 response and formed a multisectoral committee to facilitate coordination. The development of the COVID-19 Plan and having the Incident Management Structure within the Public Health Emergency Operations Center (EOC) were some of the strengths that helped The Gambia in their COVID-19 response. The Joint External Evaluation and the development of the National Action Plan for Health Security helped The Gambia better understand the importance of multisectoral collaboration as they work to establish the One-Health Platform. Gambia’s request for technical assistance for COVID response led to a memorandum of understanding with Senegal’s EOC for epidemiological information sharing and development of Gambia’s Public Health EOC handbook
Indonesia’s Presidential Instruction No. 4 Strengthens Nationwide COVID-19 Response
Aligning with JEE recommendations, Indonesia published their National Action Planning for Health Security (NAPHS) in 2019 and instated the Presidential Instruction No. 4 of 2019, which provided the necessary legal foundation for nationwide efforts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Notably, within the program of Zoonotic disease control, the One Health approach was taken to implement joint epidemiologic investigation and to develop the real-time reporting System of Information on Zoonotic Disease and EID (SIZE). In all, the issuance and implementation of the Presidential Instruction No.4 of 2019 has made significant impacts on the efforts to improve cross-sectoral coordination and collaboration in Indonesia.
Italy Chairs G20 Global Health Summit in Support of Health Systems and Response Preparedness
In 2021, Italy and the European Commission chaired the G20 Global Health Summit, comprised of initiatives geared towards strengthening preparedness and response to health threats. Leaders of G20 have laid out principles and guiding commitments, which will serve as voluntary orientation for current and future action for global health to support the financing, building and sustaining of effective health systems and Universal Health Coverage.
Italy Implements PanFlu to Fortify Influenza Preparedness Response
In 2021, Italy approved PanFlu, a new national plan for preparedness and response to pandemic influenza. In addition to strengthening preparedness and pandemic response at both national and local levels, the plan aims to reduce influenza case numbers and its impact on health, social and essential services, while protecting the health of first line respondents and preserving economic activities.
Senegal’s infection prevention and control activities contributed to COVID-19 mitigation
Senegal employed infection prevention and control (IPC) strategies to improve its response to COVID-19. The Senegalese Ministry of Health (MoH) worked with the Alliance for International Medical Action (ALIMA) to ensure 125 healthcare professionals from 23 health structures were appropriately trained in IPC. Additional medical equipment and treatment facilities allowed for rapid detection of severe COVID-19 cases and improved quality of treatment. Early efforts to isolate all positive cases in facilities including hotels also made a clear impact on the first wave of COVID-19 cases.
Thailand Implements GHSA on Provincial Levels, Encouraging Collaborative Disease Response
Thailand has applied the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) to provincial levels, encouraging collaborative approaches to effective disease response. Prior to COVID-19, disease prevention and control activities were led mainly by the health sector as a standard method of practice, posing obstacles of cooperation along border areas. As a result of GHSA implementation on local levels, Thai stakeholders of various geographical representation and representing a wide variety of disciplines, including medicine, immigration and security, have convened in open discussion on coordination practices for improved detection and response to emerging infectious diseases.
Thailand Establishes Regional Public Health Laboratory Network to Expedite Information Sharing
In October 2019, Thailand established the Regional Public Health Laboratory (RPHL) Network to expedite the implementation of a Strategic Roadmap on Laboratory System Strengthening, aligning with the GHSA. The RPHL strengthened communication between country members through the nomination of POCs within ASEAN Member states, Nepal, and key development partners of GHSA Permanent Advisors: FAO, OIE and WHO. As a result, RPHL encouraged effective resource mobilization and information sharing platforms, which were valuable in organizing technical sessions based on requests of GHSA members during the COVID-19 pandemic or sharing updated guidelines on the RPHL Network Website.
Togo Prioritizes Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance through Professional Workshops and Laboratory Support
With AMR posing a significant public health threat, AMR surveillance activity has been a new strategy targeted for Year 3 and 4 programs in Togo. In 2019, Togo led antimicrobial resistance (AMR) workshops for health personnel and students in various regions, providing successful sensitization on how to address AMR threats. In addition, 14 laboratories performing AMR surveillance were visited by national AMR experts and were provided with effective monitoring supervision.
UK Provides JEE Support for IHR Compliance and Health Systems Strengthening
Through Public Health England and the Tackling Deadly Diseases in Africa (TDDA) Program, the UK has provided direct technical input into 46 WHO Joint External Evaluations (JEEs) across all WHO regions, spearheading assessment and evaluation of preparedness capacities. Furthermore, through its Official Development Assistance (ODA) programming, the UK has provided support in twelve ODA-eligible partner countries to strengthen IHR compliance post-JEE, using JEE insights to improve health systems within low and middle-income countries.
UK Takes Collaborative Approach to Antibiotic Stewardship in Livestock
Recently, the UK has taken a voluntary collaborative approach to antibiotic stewardship in livestock production, cutting antibiotic sales for food-producing animals to half of that in 2014, making the UK one of the lowest users of antibiotics in agriculture across Europe, and the lowest of those countries with a significant livestock farming industry. Additionally, the UK is committed to sharing knowledge regarding exploring options for implementing antimicrobial stewardship in their own livestock farming sectors, and have produced a forthcoming report highlighting this approach.
UK Tackles Antimicrobial Resistance through Surveillance and Laboratory Support
Since 2016, the UK has committed over £265 million to tackle the escalating threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) through building One Health AMR surveillance and laboratory capacity in 21 low and middle income countries across Africa and Asia. As a result, 10 out of 20 countries enrolled by December 2020 reported that their AMR surveillance capacity had increased by 20% or more, with more than half of the countries sharing data with the Global AMR Surveillance System (GLASS), which can be used to support governments to take informed action against AMR and help improve patient care.
Ukraine Implements Intra-Action Review to Strengthen COVID-19 Response
In January 2021, an Intra-Action Review was conducted in Ukraine to assess their national and subnational COVID-19 response. The review provided an opportunity to share experiences and collectively analyze the ongoing in-country response to COVID-19 by identifying challenges and best practices. Through consensus building among and the compiling of lessons learned by various stakeholders during the response, the review aided in improving the current response by sustaining best practices that have had demonstrated success and by preventing recurrent errors. Following the review, Ukraine was able to utilize the lessons learned to strengthen health systems, while also providing a basis to validate and update the Country COVID-19 strategic preparedness and response plan and other strategic plans accordingly.
Ukraine Completes JEE to Address Gaps in Preparedness and Response Capacities
Since March, 2021, a WHO Joint External Evaluation (JEE) has been conducted in Ukraine to engage all stakeholders to identify critical gaps within human and animal health systems. Though currently in a stage of self-assessment, Ukraine can use the results to prioritize actions to improve preparedness and response capacities, strengthening health systems and preparedness capacity.
Ukraine Establishes Emergency Operational Center to Prevent Health Emergencies and Educate Public
Within their Public Health Center, Ukraine has established an Emergency Operational Center (EOC), which ensures preparedness capacity and the implementation of measures to prevent and respond to emergencies and hazardous events. Additionally, the EOC is responsible for monitoring and prediction of the occurrence of emergencies and their development in the health care field, identifying the risks of emergencies and providing timely information to interested executive bodies and the general population.
Ukraine Develops Legal Framework and Emergency Response Plan to Support Biosafety and Biosecurity
With the goal of strengthening response capabilities and threat identification, Ukraine has developed a Law on Biosafety and Biosecurity, assembling a working group and sending a first draft to the MOH by the OSCE for approval. In addition, Ukraine has developed the National Public Health Emergency Response Plan of Ukraine, which describes and identifies the main roles and responsibilities of all relevant stakeholders in case of public health emergencies. Aligned with the One Health Approach, Project Law “On the System of Public Health” has also been recently developed in Ukraine to support full-fledged systems of epidemiological surveillance.