Global Initiative Launched To Prevent, Respond to Infectious Diseases
The U.S. on Thursday joined 26 other countries in launching the Global Health Security Agenda, an international effort to improve prevention, detection and treatment of infectious diseases in low- and middle-income nations, Reuters reports.
According to Reuters, the initiative aims to prevent natural and intentional epidemic outbreaks by:
- Minimizing the number of labs worldwide that keep infectious microbes;
- Extending vaccination programs;
- Detecting the threat of outbreaks early by bolstering and linking countries' disease-monitoring systems, developing electronic systems that respond in real time and sharing biological samples among countries more quickly (Begley, Reuters, 2/13);
- Establishing emergency response centers that can respond to outbreaks within two hours or less (Sun, Washington Post, 2/13);
- Slowing the spread of antimicrobial resistance; and
- Reducing animal-to-human disease transmission (Ross Johnson, Modern Healthcare, 2/13).
Other participating countries include Canada, Italy, France, Germany, Japan, Russia, and the United Kingdom, as well as Argentina, India, Mexico and Saudi Arabia (Modern Healthcare, 2/13).
According to The Hill's "Healthwatch," U.S. funds for the program will be funneled through CDC and the Department of Defense (Viebeck, "Healthwatch," The Hill, 2/13). The effort will also include several other U.S. agencies, such as the departments of State and Agriculture (Modern Healthcare, 2/13).
Specifically, CDC and DOD will commit $40 million to work with 10 countries, including two countries -- Uganda and Vietnam -- where CDC recently launched pilot programs designed to improve diagnostic testing for infectious diseases and improve the transportation safety of potentially infectious samples. The agencies this year will also work with Ethiopia, India, Kenya and Tanzania.
The Obama administration said it will bolster the funding next year by an additional $5 million in order to expand the program (Washington Post, 2/13). According to the New York Times, CDC intends to expand the program to a total of 4 billion people across 30 countries within five years (Tavernise, New York Times, 2/13).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.