Leeds chosen by WHO to help create global health strategy

Following work by POLIS Chair of Global Health Policy Professor Garrett W. Brown and colleagues, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has tasked with creating a global health strategy.

Leeds has been tasked with developing and implementing the WHO's Health Systems for Health Security (HSforHS) framework, with the aim of building resilient systems and healthier populations, to protect populations against future threats such as the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of this work, Leeds is in the process of becoming an official WHO Collaboration Centre. 

The invitation from WHO to develop the HSforHS framework came following work by Professor Garrett W. Brown, whose paper, “COVID-19: time for paradigm shift in the nexus between local, national and global health", highlighted the need for transformation in how pandemics and global health are tackled, with a focus on health system strengthening and better preventative policies.

The framework is the WHO’s response to the worldwide weaknesses in health security exposed by COVID-19. Developed by an interdisciplinary team of experts in medicine, public health, political science and law at the University, it will provide evidence-led guidance to help close gaps in health systems – organisations that deliver healthcare to populations – and enable countries to improve health security by preparing for events such as pandemics and other health risks including antimicrobial resistance. 

Professor Richard Beardsworth, Head of School, commented:

COVID-19 has exposed the challenges and weaknesses of global health governance, national health systems and the promotion of population health. In alignment with POLIS's strategic vision to offer world leading interdisciplinary research to meet such challenges, Professor Garrett Brown has led collaborative efforts, alongside other colleagues in the School and the Faculty of Medicine, with the WHO to help design and implement its new 'Health Systems for Health Security ' framework. If successfully implemented, the framework promises a paradigm shift in how we prevent, prepare, and respond to health risks. I am delighted that POLIS is taking this interdisciplinary lead role and congratulate all involved both in POLIS and the Faculty of Medicine.

The framework will be launched on Thursday 20 May at the Workshop on Health Systems for Health Security – an online event hosted by Leeds and open to all, featuring talks from international experts and WHO member states on their experiences of managing public health during the virus outbreak. Register now for the workshop.

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