Legislative assessments as a tool for strengthening health security capacity the example of Gui...

Gian Luca BURCI
Rebecca KATZ

Methods: A literature review, combined with in-country consultations, individual interviews and a stakeholder workshop was used to identify and analyze legislation related to the management of public health emergencies in Guinea. Once key gaps and overlaps between existing legal and regulatory documents were identified, we categorized them under the JEE key technical areas. We then identified and reviewed examples of best practices in health emergency legislation for corresponding technical areas from other African and Asian countries. / Results: In 14 out of the 19 JEE technical areas, we identified key legislative gaps and potential areas of conflicting authorities within and between ministries. Most consequentially, we identified a lack of formal legislation or mechanisms to support information and data sharing within and between agencies and sectors as well as relevant authorities in neighboring countries, despite the benefits such mechanisms may offer for improved communication when public health emergencies threaten to cross borders. The legislative review also enabled the identification of possible gaps in corresponding foreign legislation, illustrating that this type of assessment may have larger regional or even global implications, in terms of identifying priority areas for future legislative development across diverse legal systems and access to resources. / Conclusions: This legislative review allowed for the identification of numerous legislative gaps that, if filled, could support the government to be better equipped to protect the health and life of Guineans in health emergencies. Importantly, our paper serves to demonstrate the utility of legislative assessment as an essential and effective tool for strengthening health security capacity more broadly.