The 2021 Global Health Security Index reveals that all countries remain dangerously unprepared for future epidemic and pandemic threats. In a report, published by the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) and Johns Hopkins University, national and world leaders are called upon to maintain and develop the preparedness capacities developed to combat the Coronavirus.
In the MENA region, the Kingdom is the first of the Maghreb countries in the “Global Health Security (GHS)” index for the year 2021, which monitors the capacity of countries to cope with potential epidemics. Morocco was provided 33.6 points, and occupied the 108e world place out of 195 countries concerned. The report, to which the British magazine “The Economist” contributed, indicates that Morocco, like most countries in Africa and the Middle East, ranks among the countries least prepared to face pandemics and epidemics. However, it is the leading Maghreb country in terms of investments in preparing for future pandemics. It is followed by Tunisia, which ranked 123e globally, with a total of 31.5 points, followed by Mauritania and Algeria, which share 163rd place in the world with a total of 26.2 points, and Libya, ranked 172nd in the world.
In the MENA region, the international index places the Kingdom of Morocco in ninth place after Qatar, ranked 49e globally, Israel, which arrived 53e and Saudi Arabia which ranked at 61e rank. Then follow, Jordan 65e, the United Arab Emirates 66e, Oman at 81e rank, Kuwait at 88e rank and Bahrain 92e. Regarding the African ranking, Morocco ranks tenth. It is overtaken by South Africa, ranked at 56e world rank, Mauritius 79e, Kenya 84e, Nigeria 86e, Ethiopia 87e and Uganda 90e, Ghana to 104e rank and Cape Verde at 105e. The ranking of countries is based on a set of sub-indicators. The first is the disease prevention index, in which Morocco obtained 29.3 points, the epidemic detection index, which awarded it 27.9 pts, the epidemic response index 28 pts, l ‘health system index 30.8 pts, index compliance with international standards, 33.2 pts and the overall risk index in which it obtained 52.5 pts.
This report is the second edition of the GHS index. It was developed in consultation with an international panel of 18 experts from 13 countries. The project included a one-year data collection and validation process by 80 Economist Impact researchers located around the world and opportunities for governments to validate the data. Based on the results and based on the 2019 GHS Index, the 2021 GHS Index includes an action plan for countries, international organizations, the private sector and philanthropic organizations to improve capacity and ensure the world is ready for the next pandemic.
The main recommendations are as follows: countries should allocate funds for health security in national budgets and carry out assessments, using the GHS 2021 index as a benchmark to develop a national plan to identify their risks and address shortcomings. Gaps in this knowing that most countries, including high income countries, have not made dedicated financial investments to strengthen preparedness for epidemics or pandemics. Indeed, 155 of 195 countries have not allocated national funds in the past three years to improve capacity, outside of public health emergencies, to deal with epidemic threats. Only two low-income countries have made this effort. Improving capacity requires a multi-year financial commitment, not just increased funding for crises. Finally, it is also recommended that international organizations should use the index to identify those countries most in need of additional support.