A new Global Health Security Index released today — the first comprehensive assessment and benchmarking of health security and related capabilities across 195 countries — suggests that not a single country in the world is fully prepared to handle an epidemic or pandemic. The GHS Index is a joint project of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and the Nuclear Threat Initiative, with research by The Economist Intelligence Unit. The Center for Health Security is a part of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
The inaugural GHS Index finds severe weaknesses in countries’ abilities to prevent, detect, and respond to significant disease outbreaks. The average overall 2019 GHS Index score is slightly over 40 out of a possible score of 100. Among the 60 highest-income countries assessed, the average score is 51.9.
Dr. Jennifer Nuzzo, associate professor in the Bloomberg School’s department of environmental health and engineering and senior scholar at the Center for Health Security, said the GHS Index, developed with guidance from an international panel of experts from 13 countries, can be used by health ministers and international organizations, philanthropists and funders, academics, and researchers.
Top findings include: