BACKGROUND: This study aims to evaluate the gap between countries' self-evaluation and external evaluation regarding core capacity of infectious disease control required by International Health Regulations and the influence factors of the gap.
METHODS: We collected countries' self-evaluated scores (International Health Regulations Monitoring tool, IHRMT) of 2016 and 2017, and external evaluation scores (Joint External Evaluation, JEE) from WHO website on 4rd and 27rd November, 2018. There were 127 and 163 countries with IHRMT scores in 2016 and in 2017, and 74 countries with JEE scores included in the analysis. The gap between countries' self-evaluation and external evaluation was represented by the difference between condensed IHR scores and JEE. Civil liberties (CL) scores were collected as indicators of the transparency of each country. The Human Development Index (HDI) and data indicating the density of physicians and nurses (HWD) were collected to reflect countries' development and health workforce statuses. Then, chi-square test and logistic regression were performed to determine the correlation between the gap of IHRMT and JEE, and civil liberties, human development, and health workforce status.
RESULTS: Countries' self-evaluation scores significantly decreased from 2016 to 2017. Countries' external evaluation scores are consistently 1 to 1.5 lower than self-evaluation scores. There were significantly more countries with high HDI status, high CL status and high HWD status in groups with bigger gap between IHRMT and JEE. And countries with higher HDI status presented a higher risk of having bigger gap between countries' self and external scores (OR = 3.181).
CONCLUSION: Our study result indicated that countries' transparency represented by CL status do play a role in the gap between IHR and JEE scores. But HDI status is the key factor which significantly associated with the gap. The main reason for the gap in the current world is the different interpretation of evaluation of high HDI countries, though low CL countries tended to over-scored their capacity.