A proposal to build public health capacity in developing nations

Thursday, July 14, 2016

In 2005, the World Health Assembly adopted a revised version of its International Health Regulations, a legally binding treaty among 196 nations to boost global health security and strengthen the world’s capacity to confront serious disease threats such as Ebola and SARS. A decade later, just one-third of countries have the ability to respond to a public health emergency. That’s why Rebecca Katz thinks it’s time to get creative.

“How can we think creatively about incentives for countries to build the required public health capacity under international treaty obligations,” Katz, an associate professor of international health at Georgetown University, told me. “What kind of arguments can be made to make public health infrastructure a core component of development programs?”

One way, she argues, could be through the World Bank Group’s Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), which provides political risk insurance to help promote investments in developing countries. Basically, MIGA is a public insurance option for high-risk projects that can’t secure private insurance, essentially providing a pathway for direct foreign investment in developing nations.

Source: Science Blogs (link opens in a new window)

Health Care
infectious diseases, insurance, public health