The world is unprepared for outbreaks of major infectious diseases, with Asian countries facing significant risks, according to the Global Health Security (GHS) Index 2019, released on Friday. According to the report, Thailand and South Korea were among the best-performing countries in Asia

Researchers from Johns Hopkins University have ranked Thailand sixth among a total of 195 countries for the world’s strongest health security.

Thailand is also Asia’s No. 1 and the only developing country on the world’s Top 10 list. South Korea is the only other Asian country to reach the top 10 with Thailand.

Thailand scored 73.2 out of 100 points, despite being the only top 10 country to be in the upper middle income range.

Thailand has been recognized as having the highest level of preparedness to cope with epidemics among 13 countries.

The conference focused on the strategic role of a working committee in the steering of the world’s health security between 2019 and 2024.

The meeting resolved to have Thailand host the ministerial-level Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) in 2020 and to chair a working committee on the steering of GHSA in 2021.

GHSA has operated since 2014, to upgrade measures for alert responses to epidemics, and currently consists of 60 member countries.

A project of the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) and the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security, with research by The Economist Intelligence Unit, the GHS Index is the first comprehensive assessment of epidemic and pandemic threats globally.

RankCountryIndex ScoreRegionPopulationIncome
1United States83.5Northern America100m+High income
2United Kingdom77.9Europe50-100mHigh income
3Netherlands75.6Europe10-50mHigh income
4Australia75.5Oceania10-50mHigh income
5Canada75.3Northern America10-50mHigh income
6Thailand73.2Southeastern Asia50-100mUpper middle income
7Sweden72.1Europe1-10mHigh income
8Denmark70.4Europe1-10mHigh income
9South Korea70.2Eastern Asia50-100mHigh income
10Finland68.7Europe1-10mHigh income
11France68.2Europe50-100mHigh income
12Slovenia67.2Europe1-10mHigh income
13Switzerland67.0Europe1-10mHigh income

Built around a framework of 140 detailed questions, the Index assesses each country’s capacity to prevent, detect and respond to health emergencies, as well as the efficacy of their health systems, commitment to global norms, and the political, socioeconomic and environmental risk factors that can limit response.

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