The Health and Human Security Programme was set up by the RSIS Centre for NTS Studies to study the impact of pandemics on health and human security in the region.
Its research components are:
- Health and Human Security
- Global Health Governance
- Pandemic Preparedness and Global Response Networks
Pandemics: A Global Menace
The risk of infectious disease pandemics is greater than in the past and the global public health response system faces serious analytic and institutional challenges. Infectious diseases have the potential to spread rapidly across national borders and effective response demands rapid and effective coordination between organizations, governments, and experts. Emergent networks of local, national, and international public health authorities, laboratories, and university research centers must often be cobbled together on a temporary and ad-hoc basis to respond to these emerging threats. Yet the epidemiology of emerging infectious diseases operates in a context of epistemic uncertainty and ambiguity. Information about the number and distribution of cases is rarely complete and little may be known about the disease itself and how it spreads. Confounding signals invariably complicate decision-making. Successful response requires geographically-dispersed networks to develop accurate interpretations of epidemiological information in time-pressured, uncertain and often politicized environments.
Dealing with the Pandemic Threat
This programme studies how global response networks form and evolve and how these distributed communities interpret and make sense of infectious disease outbreaks. Given that information regarding possible disease outbreaks is vital in the monitoring, surveillance and control of infectious diseases, a key objective of this programme is to enhance the region’s capacity to address the challenge of building an effective mechanism for regional and domestic disease surveillance in order to avert health disasters. In this regard, the programme not only aims to raise regional awareness of the serious threats of infectious diseases but more importantly, build linkages among different state agencies and policy communities in the region in order to develop an integrated approach in responding to health crises.