Countries have been affected differently by the COVID-19 pandemic, depending on the strengthand vigour of each country’s healthcare system. The pandemic revealed a lack of health emergency preparedness in many low- and middle-income countries. This was due to insufficient healthcare system capacity. The COVID-19 pandemic exposed Mongolia’s healthcare system’s frailty.

Mongolia’s capacity to detect, respond to, and recover from emergency health threats is still underdeveloped, and the country is facing a COVID-19 pandemic with no operational emergency response structure. Without a National Health Protection Agency backed by a legal framework to support and enable response to public health emergencies, the pandemic response was led by organisations outside of the health sector with distinct functions to respond to incidents of natural disasters and accidents. As a result, Mongolia’s response has been marred by issues such as poor coordination among relevant ministries, inefficient resource allocation, inefficient use of human and other resources, and function duplication. As a result, the pandemic highlighted Mongolia’s need for a Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, also known as the National Health Protection Agency. Such organisations are critical in laying the groundwork for a system of health security and public health emergency management.

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