Merging approaches to health systems strengthening and health emergencies response

More joined-up thinking is clearly needed between health system strengthening activities and health security efforts for prevention, alert and response – this is the key message of a recent article published by WHO authors in the Global Health section of the British Medical Journal. In the article, the authors discuss how and where intersections between the International Health Regulations (IHR) and the health system can be best leveraged towards developing greater health system resilience. The article covers lessons learned from global emergencies, which demonstrate that health systems strengthening and health emergencies response should be viewed as complementary efforts.

Merging the approaches to these 2 areas will be crucial for making progress towards universal health coverage and strengthened global health security – 2 mutually reinforcing agendas that WHO has identified as priorities in the coming years.

This week, more than 150 senior public health and technical representatives will meet in Munich, Germany, to discuss accelerating implementation of the IHR and strengthening emergency preparedness and response in the WHO European Region. As part of this, participants will look at linkages between health systems, essential public health functions and IHR core capacities.