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Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security Releases Findings of Study Examining Feasibility of Establishing a New, Nongovernmental Health Security Center in Asia

Center News


June 27, 2022 – Today, the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security at the Bloomberg School of Public Health released a new report examining the feasibility of creating a new nongovernmental health security policy center in Asia.

The report, “Feasibility of a Health Security Center in Asia: Findings from a feasibility study on the benefits and challenges of establishing a new health security center in Asia,” examines how a new center may become a regional hub to convene experts and advance health security policies and programs in Asia. The study asked experts to provide insight into considerations for a new center, including potential priority focus areas, staffing, partnerships, and financial support.

“In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is an opportunity to enhance and advance health security policies, programs, and practices across Asia to reduce the risk of consequential naturally occurring, accidental, or deliberate global catastrophic biological risk threats,” the authors write. “Currently, no regional center exists to improve health security policy through independent research, analysis, and strategic outreach and advocacy efforts.”

The report finds:

  • There is a pressing need for an Asian nongovernmental center to advance health security goals. All interviewees strongly believed a nongovernmental, not-for-profit Asian health security center would advance health security research, awareness, and policy in the region. Such a center could convene experts and government officials, develop policy, perform research, and allow for collaboration on regional and international health security issues.
  • Leadership and staffing of an Asian health security center should come from the region. Strategic advisory roles and international advisory networks should also be developed to support the center, including to define its scope of work. Interviewees strongly recommended that a center be established with experienced leadership from the host country and the region. For a first-of-its-kind center to become productive quickly, additional international advisory roles and networks should be developed to help support the initial establishment and scaleup of a center.
  • Singapore is considered a strategically sound location for a new regional health security center. Interviewees also suggested a center located in China would be beneficial. Most interviewees recommended that a new regional health security center be located in Singapore due to ease of travel, strong regional partnerships, political neutrality, and several academic options for affiliation. Many also emphasized the best-case scenario of having two health security centers in the region, with another center located in China, given the importance of the nation for global health security progress.

You can access the new report here.