Back to Top Skip to main content

In it together: Fighting global health threats takes partnerships

Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Tom McCaffery spoke at the 2018 Medical Support Operations Conference in London, delivering remarks on the defense sector's role in advancing the Global Health Security Agenda. A partnership of more than 60 nations, the Global Health Security Agenda, or GHSA, brings together the unique roles of governments, industry, NGOs, academia, and international institutions to combat infectious disease threats. “We are up against a perilous rise in infectious disease outbreaks threatening the health and safety of our citizens, as well as threatening geopolitical stability,” stated McCaffery, emphasizing that global health security is an essential part of our national security. “The bottom line is that defense and security sectors have a real opportunity to use the GHSA framework to increase collaboration and converge our unique assets across all sectors to detect and defeat disease at the earliest possible moment," McCaffery said. Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Tom McCaffery spoke at the 2018 Medical Support Operations Conference in London, delivering remarks on the defense sector's role in advancing the Global Health Security Agenda. A partnership of more than 60 nations, the Global Health Security Agenda, or GHSA, brings together the unique roles of governments, industry, NGOs, academia, and international institutions to combat infectious disease threats.

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement

FALLS CHURCH, Va. — As communities around the world continue to face health threats, global partnerships have growing responsibilities to battle global health threats.  Military Health System leadership remains committed to advancing the Global Health Security Agenda, recognizing the need for collaboration across sectors, governments, and areas of expertise.

“We are up against a perilous rise in infectious disease outbreaks threatening the health and safety of our citizens, as well as threatening geopolitical stability,” said Thomas McCaffery, Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs while speaking at the 2018 Medical Support Operations Conference in London.

While global health threats are intensifying, collaborative efforts to combat them continue to grow. Through the Global Health Security Agenda, also known as GHSA, the Department of Defense is committed to working to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease threats, McCaffery assured. GHSA-supported health activities, such as biosurveillance and coordinated response plans, prevented the spread of 25 major outbreaks in 17 countries in 2017.

The DoD worked with the Uganda Ministry of Health to help stop an outbreak of Marburg virus in October. Medical countermeasures were developed and technical assistance was provided to the Uganda National Task Force and Rapid-Response Teams. Through a partnership with the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute last year, DoD also helped identify and contain an outbreak of Anthrax. The department provided diagnostic and protective equipment, and helped improve detection and response capabilities to quickly contain the outbreak.

In addition, the Defense HIV/AIDS Prevention Program partners with militaries from 57 countries to help lower the incidence of HIV and AIDS. This was done by training health care workers, equipping laboratories, promoting health education, and providing training against stigma and discrimination. Overall, HIV testing and counseling services were provided to more than 1.1 million people last year, while 139,000 individuals received antiretroviral therapy.  The program also reached 6,000 HIV-positive pregnant women with life-saving treatment to reduce mother-to-child transmission.

 “[O]ur ability to work in a concerted global effort across … nations, the private sector, academia, and non-governmental organizations is not just smart leadership. It’s a strategic, moral imperative,” said McCaffery, stressing the impact of health threats on economic stability, food security, development, and private-sector growth.

The connection between global health security and national security is evident in bioterrorism, readiness, and stability, McCaffery said. The U.S. capacity to prevent, accurately detect, and rapidly respond to natural outbreaks is critical to address bioterrorism threats, he added.

McCaffery’s visit reinforces the Department of Defense’s role in encouraging others to advance global health security, which provides a framework for the U.S. and its partner nations to work together to combat health concerns. He stressed that global health risks can pose major threats to citizens at home and abroad by destabilizing communities, leaving nations vulnerable to terrorism and conflict, and undermining public order if left unchecked.

 “The bottom line is that defense and security sectors have a real opportunity to use the GHSA framework to increase collaboration and converge our unique assets across all sectors to detect and defeat disease at the earliest possible moment,” said McCaffery.

The first defense-focused panel at the GHSA High-level Ministerial was held in November. Attendees included McCaffery, the Minister of Health of Uganda, and the Deputy Minister of Health of Liberia, as well as panelists from the United Kingdom and Finland. Building on this momentum, defense and security sectors are becoming more engaged in the dialogue around how to leverage their role in reducing global health threats.

This week, the Medical Support Operations Conference focuses on areas where national, charitable, and commercial institutions may be able to cooperate more effectively to deliver greater capability more efficiently to reset community and national health security.

“Global health security is an essential part of our national security,” said McCaffery, stressing the defense sector’s role in advancing the GHSA. “We have come a long way in combatting global health threats, but we’ve got more work to do. And we all have a role to play in using the GHSA framework to increase collaboration, and to unite assets across all sectors to detect and defeat disease at the earliest possible moment.”

You also may be interested in...

DoD joins national global health security effort

Article
5/13/2019
Image of the DoD Seal

The Global Health Security Strategy outlines the U.S. approach to strengthen Global Health Security

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement | Global Health Security Agenda

Navy hospital ship to deploy in response to humanitarian crisis in Latin America

Article
5/10/2019
The U.S. Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort is scheduled to deploy in to the Caribbean, Central America and South America to conduct humanitarian medical assistance missions in support of regional partners and in response to the regional impacts of political and economic crises in Venezuela. (U.S. Navy photo)

USNS Comfort represents our enduring promise to our partners in the Western Hemisphere

Recommended Content:

Military Hospitals and Clinics | Global Health Engagement | Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief

Field emergency room drills strengthen bonds of U.S. Navy, Swedish medics

Article
4/24/2019
Navy Cmdr. Mark Lambert (center) and Navy Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Amos Bogs (right), work with Capt. Peter Landell (left), Swedish Armed Forces, during a multinational medical drill, Cincu Military Base, Romania, during exercise Vigorous Warrior 19. (U.S. Air Force photo by 1st Lt. Andrew Layton)

Vigorous Warrior is a biannual readiness event organized by the NATO Military Medicine Centre of Excellence

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement

Medical logistics Airmen enable lifesaving skills at NATO exercise

Article
4/18/2019
Civilian first responders from Romania participate along with Airmen from the 86th Medical Group, Ramstein Air Base, Germany, in a multinational medical exercise drill during Vigorous Warrior 19, Cincu Military Base, Romania. Vigorous Warrior 19 is NATO’s largest military medical exercise, uniting more than 2,500 participants from 39 countries to exercise experimental doctrinal concepts and test their medical assets together in a dynamic, multinational environment. (U.S. Air Force photo by 1st Lt. Andrew Layton)

Uniting upwards of 2,500 providers from 39 countries, the exercise is the largest medical readiness event in NATO

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Medical Logistics | Global Health Engagement

How The U.S. Military Is Contributing To The Fight Against Cholera In Mozambique

Video
4/16/2019
Air Force Capt. Talon Miner, a flight surgeon assigned to the 435th Contingency Response Group, Ramstein Air Base, Germany, supporting Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, discusses the role that the U.S. Department of Defense is undertaking to combat the spread of Cholera in Mozambique.

Air Force Capt. Talon Miner, a flight surgeon assigned to the 435th Contingency Response Group, Ramstein Air Base, Germany, supporting Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement | Global Health Security Agenda | Building Partner Capacity and Interoperability | Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief

Military nursing exchange brings together 23 partner nations

Article
4/12/2019
Medical professionals from around Europe and Africa receive small-group training at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. The 2019 European African Military Nursing Exchange is the 6th iteration of its kind, with extensive planning and coordination to connect partner nations in a collaborative environment that promotes hands-on training scenarios. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jessica Hines)

United States, European and African military nurses focused on each nation’s unique cultures, communication patterns and capacity for interoperability

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement

Africa Malaria Task Force Key Leader Event continues fight against malaria

Article
4/12/2019
Brig. Gen. Dowlo Yao, Chief of Health Services, Cote D’Ivoire Armed Forces and Chairman of Africa Malaria Task Force, asks a question during the AMTF Key Leader Event. (DoD photo).

The primary goal of AMTF has been to assist African partner militaries do develop relationships with their national malaria control programs

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement | Global Health Security Agenda

Pacific Partnership 2019 introduces helicopter en route medical care

Article
3/29/2019
A Philippine Fire Department rescue worker lifts a simulated earthquake victim onto a Philippine Air Force rescue helicopter during the Pacific Partnership 2019 exercise in Tacloban, Philippines. The goal of the Pacific Partnership is to improve interoperability of the region's military forces, governments, and humanitarian organizations during disaster relief operations, while providing humanitarian, medical, dental, and engineering assistance to nations of the Pacific all while strengthening relationships and security ties between the partner nations (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Andrew Jackson)

The exercise is an important part of disaster risk reduction

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Global Health Engagement | Building Partner Capacity and Interoperability | Global Health Security Agenda

Pacific Partnership 2019 participates in community health engagement in Tacloban

Article
3/21/2019
Navy Lt. Sharon Hoff (right) listens to a patient’s heartbeat as Philippine Army Capt. Glorife Saura from the Armed Forces of the Philippines Medical Corps records patient vital signs. Pacific Partnership participants and Tacloban City medical professionals worked together to provide medical and veterinary services throughout the day at Tigbao Diit Elementary School. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Nathan Carpenter)

Pacific Partnership 2019 exchanges create lasting bonds of friendship and trust

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Global Health Engagement | Global Health Security Agenda

Global Health Engagement in action: Trinidad and Tobago

Article
2/22/2019
Navy Lt. David Cruz, Southern Partnership Station 2018’s Fleet Health Engagement Team officer-in-charge, speaks with a Trinidad and Tobago military professional as part of functional exercise Red Fish aboard a TTO coast guard vessel during Southern Partnership Station 2018. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Katie Cox)

The U.S. Navy’s Global Health Engagement missions are inherently collaborative

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement | Global Health Security Agenda

Hospital ship USNS Comfort returns home after completing mission

Article
12/20/2018
Family and friends of crew members aboard Military Sealift Command’s hospital ship USNS Comfort wait as the ship pulls into Naval Station Norfolk, Dec. 18. Comfort returned to Virginia after completing its 11-week medical support mission to South and Central America, part of U.S. Southern Command’s Operation Enduring Promise initiative. (U.S. Navy photograph by Brian Suriani)

This mission marked the sixth time the hospital ship has provided medical assistance in the region

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Military Hospitals and Clinics | Global Health Engagement | Global Health Security Agenda

Leaders take world view to enhance health readiness

Article
12/19/2018
Army Maj. Elizabeth Polfer (left), an orthopedic surgeon at William Beaumont Army Medical Center in Texas, performs hand surgery with her Honduran counterpart in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, during a Regional Health Command-Central Global Health Engagement Medical Readiness Training Exercise. (U.S. Army photo by Maria Pinel)

Global engagements include missions in South, Central America

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement

Navy entomologists team up to build disease detection capacity in Honduras

Article
10/18/2018
Navy LCDR Kimberly Edgel (right) and Carmen Lucas examine a positive malaria blood smear at U.S. Naval Medical Research Unit, or NAMRU, 6 in Callao, Peru. (U.S. Navy photo)

Leishmaniasis, malaria, dengue and Chagas disease are known to be present in Honduras

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement

Bringing Comfort 2018

Video
10/17/2018
The USNS Comfort is a state-of-the-art hospital ship, and it’s scheduled to deploy to Central and South America for Continuing Promise 2018.

The USNS Comfort is a state-of-the-art hospital ship, and it’s scheduled to deploy to Central and South America for Continuing Promise 2018.

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement

Sailors, Afghan medical professionals team up to improve medical care

Article
10/10/2018
Navy Lt. Cdr. Travis J. Fitzpatrick, senior nurse for Kandahar Airfield NATO Role III Multinational Medical Unit, demonstrates a technique on how to clear the airway of a patient to Afghan medical staff members during a medical advisory visit at Kandahar Regional Military Hospital, Camp Hero in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Staff members from the Role III conduct routine visits to KRMH to train and advise Afghan medical staff. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Neysa Canfield)

The Kandahar Regional Military Hospital is run by Afghan military and civilian medical professionals

Recommended Content:

Global Health Engagement | Building Partner Capacity and Interoperability | Partners | Global Health Security Agenda
<< < 1 2 3 4 5 > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 5

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing: Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.