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South Africa Regional Global Disease Detection Center

The South Africa Regional Global Disease Detection Centre (SARGDDC) builds global health security by enhancing capacity in South Africa to detect and respond to infectious disease threats through surveillance, workforce development, and public health research and response. The SARGDDC strengthens public health capacity in South Africa and the region through our in-country programs: The South Africa Field Epidemiology Training Program (SAFETP); the International Emerging Infections Program (IEIP); the Influenza Program; and the One Health Program; and by utilizing subject matter experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta. The SARGDDC works in close partnership with the South Africa National Department of Health (NDoH), the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) of the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS), the University of Pretoria, US Department of Defense’s  Cooperative Biological Engagement Program, and CDC’s Division of Global HIV/AIDS.

Current Focus of SARGDDC

International Emerging Infections Program (IEIP)
  • IEIP aims to strengthen laboratory systems and surveillance systems that can serve as a backbone for enhanced surveillance and contribute to national policies on control of diseases of public health importance.
  • IEIP supports the IHR capacity building by applying CDC core expertise in a wide variety of public health capacities, including surveillance and risk communication.
South Africa Field Epidemiology Training Program (SAFETP)
  • The SAFETP, launched in May 2006, is a collaboration between the South Africa NDoH, the NICD of the NHLS, and the University of Pretoria.
  • The program’s purpose is to enhance South Africa’s capacity to detect and respond to public health threats through a 2-year training program in applied epidemiology, focused on supervised work experience and training to develop practical skills and knowledge.
  • SAFETP residents investigate a wide variety of infectious disease outbreaks leading to improved methodologies and continuous inputs into infection control practices and information for evidence-based policy decisions.
Influenza Program
  • The Influenza Program provides expertise to prevent, identify, and control influenza through joint preparedness, surveillance and rapid response activities in collaboration with the NHLS and its strong regional partners.
  • The Influenza Program works with the National Influenza Center at the NICD, a WHO reference laboratory and the Regional WHO Influenza Reference Laboratory for Southern Africa.
One Health
  • In 2014, SARGDDC established a One Health Program to assist the NDoH to strengthen coordination of activities around the  human and animal interface.
  • The One Health Program is working to expand zoonotic disease surveillance across sectors through neurologic disease surveillance at the University of Pretoria.
  • The One Health Program is assisting the NDoH to link stakeholders across the One Health spectrum to establish national goals and research objectives.
  • The One Health Program is using sentinel surveillance in animals as early warning systems to detect outbreaks of arboviral diseases in humans, including West Nile, Shuni, and Middleburg Viruses.

Key Partners

  • South African National Department of Health
  • National Institute for Communicable Diseases of the National Health Laboratory Service
  • University of Pretoria
  • US Department of Defense’s Cooperative Biological Engagement Program
  • CDC’s Division of Global HIV/AIDS.

Opportunities for Integration and Advocacy

  • Full integration of SARGDDC into the South African government with activities based at either the NDoH or the NICD at the NHLS.
  • Focus on synergistic program components to achieve greater effectiveness than stand-alone programs.
  • Capacity building and response is better achieved through the integration of public health expertise such as epidemiology, laboratory surveillance, and zoonosis.
  • Page last reviewed: June 2, 2015
  • Page last updated: June 2, 2015
  • Content source: Global Health
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