CDC Director’s Visit to Kenya, January 2012
Dr. Tom Frieden, CDC’s Director traveled to Kenya January 14 – 17, 2012 to visit Kenyan health officials and CDC staff. On January 15, Dr. Frieden met with the U.S. Ambassador to Kenya, Scott Gration, to discuss CDC’s global health activities in Kenya and U.S. efforts to reduce preventable deaths in Kenya.
Dr. Frieden also met with officers from Kenya’s Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program (FELTP). CDC's FE(L)TP programs are applied epidemiology and laboratory training programs offered by CDC to help foreign countries develop, set up, and implement dynamic public health strategies to improve and strengthen their public health system and infrastructure. (Learn more by visiting the FETP/FELTP website.)
Dr. Frieden visited Kisian, Kenya on January 16 to address the staff of the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) and CDC Field Research Station. Every 4 months KEMRI and CDC staff collect information about the health and demographic status of 220,000 people. With 1,700 staff, the field station is one of the largest CDC overseas platforms. Afterwards, Dr. Frieden tweeted “Just met w/ largest gathering of CDC-affiliated staff I can remember seeing in person in one place at KEMRI and CDC.”
Dr. Frieden came to Kenya directly from a visit to India where he accompanied Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius to meetings with health officials and CDC staff in-country. During their visit, India reached an important milestone in their polio eradication program. Once the epicenter of polio, in 2011, India reported only one case of polio. As of January 13, 2011 it has been one year since a polio case has been reported in India. CDC’s scientific and technical support in disease surveillance and epidemiology are often cited as important contributions associated with India's success in fighting polio.