The Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP) held a course entitled: “Addressing Challenges in Global Health Security,” from 6-9 February, 2017 at the Maison de la Paix in Geneva.
Ms Joëlle Tanguy, former Under-Secretary at the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent and GCSP’s Dr Gustav Lindstrom, the Head of Emerging Security Challenges programme, led the three-day course, which was designed to guide leaders in formulating policies, best practices and strategies for dealing with health security emergencies of the future.
Day One of the course required participants to reflect on the concept of the global health security and what it means within the context of history, substance and various political environments. Participants also gained insights into international health regulations and also the role of the military during health emergencies. On Day Two participants delved further into the topic of civil military coordination and the links between security and health, also took a trip to the World Health Organization (WHO) to better under their response to emergencies. Participants discussed 21st century biological threats and reviewed case studies, using the recent Ebola Crisis as example on Day Three. Finally on Day Four, participants visited a lab involved in Ebola vaccine clinical trials and discovered how health technologies are essential to global health security.
“This training…was an eye opener to people like me working in outbreak response and disasters,” said Dr. Isaac Phiri, Deputy Director of Communicable Diseases, Epidemiology and Disease Control for the Ministry of Health in Zimbabwe. “It prepares you to look at disasters from a different angle yet the end goal is the same: to solve the issues in front of you.”
Participants represented many different countries including: Zimbabwe, UK, Germany, Sierre Leone, Turkey, France, Finland and Switzerland.