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Global Health

Global Health [PDF - 380 KB]

CDC works 24/7 around the globe because diseases know no borders

CDC is ready to protect the United States by rapidly detecting and containing emerging health threats – whether infectious or chronic – anywhere in the world. We focus resources on important global health priorities and train disease trackers around the world.

CDC’s work in global health

CDC disease detective at the airport

CDC disease detectives travel around the globe

CDC works 24/7 to address these priorities for global health:

  • Reducing threats from contagious diseases such as the Ebola outbreak
  • Promoting safe water and sanitation
  • Addressing the growing global threat of chronic diseases
  • Eradicating polio
  • Reducing deaths from measles

As a partner in the Global Health Initiative, CDC helps ministries of health across the globe build strong, sustainable public health systems to:

  • Improve mother and child survival
  • Reduce preventable deaths from tropical diseases
  • Make progress in preventing HIV, TB and malaria
  • CDC has trained more than 2,300 disease trackers in ministries of health around the world since 1980

Global health successes


Through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) partnership:

  • 3.2 million men, women and children with HIV were treated
  • 114,000 infants were saved from infection.
  • 33 million people worldwide got tested for HIV.


Our work helped prevent 1 in 3 deaths from malaria in children under age 5 in 6 countries.

  • 19 million treated mosquito nets distributed.
  • 3.5 million pregnant women treated in 2010.

Lymphatic filariasis: A miserable tropical disease

Through the PEPFAR partnership:

  • CDC treated more than half a billion people for lymphatic filariasis, a tropical disease that causes disabling swelling and disfigurement.
    • Lymphatic filariasis is commonly known as elephantiasis.

When a health threat appears, we may not know right away why or how many people are affected, but we have worldclass expertise to find out what is making people sick or die and what to do about it.

  • Page last reviewed: January 22, 2015
  • Page last updated: January 22, 2015
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