June 23, 2024

Biden-Harris Administration’s Global Health Security Partnerships Yield Positive Outcomes in African Nations

President Joe Biden greets Vice President Kamala Harris in the Red Room of the White House, Thursday, March 23, 2023, prior to an Affordable Care Act Anniversary event. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)

In a significant stride toward strengthening global health security, the Biden-Harris Administration’s annual progress report reveals commendable achievements in its partnerships with African nations.

The report, titled “Progress and Impact of U.S. Government Investments in Global Health Security,” underscores the administration’s commitment to addressing infectious disease threats globally, with a particular focus on Africa.

Expanding Partnerships and Capacity Building in Africa

The Biden-Harris Administration, recognizing the interconnectedness of global health, has committed to directly supporting at least 50 countries by 2025 to strengthen regional, national, and local capacities in critical areas related to infectious disease threats. In 2022, the United States expanded bilateral global health security support from 19 to 25 partner countries, prominently including several African nations such as Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.

These partnerships have seen a strengthening of disease surveillance, early warning systems, biosafety and biosecurity, emergency operations, training and support for health workers, and legal preparedness in African nations. The U.S. employs a whole-of-government approach, involving multiple agencies such as the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Agency for International Development, U.S. Department of Defense, and others to fortify health systems in partner countries.

Delivering Tangible Results

The report highlights the impact of United States investments in partnership with African countries. Notable outcomes include the creation of a COVID-19 Country Systems Monitoring Tool in 48 countries to track progress, the development of standard operating procedures for international airports for the detection and management of ill travelers in Burkina Faso, and the doubling of healthcare facilities enrolled in a national surveillance network for healthcare-associated infections in Vietnam.

Specifically, the report notes that seven partner countries in Africa demonstrated capacity across five technical areas, improving their ability to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease threats. An additional six countries are close to achieving this goal, indicating significant progress in building robust health security infrastructure.

Catalyzing Global Support

Recognizing the collaborative nature of global health security, the U.S. aims to spur other donors and multilateral partners into action. The administration seeks to unlock commitments from allies and donors to support an additional 50 countries. Furthermore, the U.S. will continue to strengthen and support the extension of the multilateral Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA), providing technical assistance, sharing best practices, and holding global partners accountable for progress.

The U.S. commitment extends to supporting the Pandemic Fund at the World Bank, contributing as a founding Board Member and the largest contributor. The focus is on delivering early impact for countries and regions in need of capital to prepare for future pandemics through grant funding. The administration also plans to accelerate achieving G7 goals, collaborating with Italy’s G7 and Brazil’s G20 presidencies to increase pandemic preparedness and response financing.

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