Global Disease Detection: Core Capacities
Global Disease Detection (GDD) Regional Centers are helping to strengthen public health systems and improve the essential infrastructure in host countries to rapidly identify and control emerging infectious diseases at the source. The following 6 core capacities were identified by internal and external GDD stakeholders as critical functions for building in-country ability to comply with the revised International Health Regulations (IHR 2005).
- Emerging infectious disease detection and response: Identification and response to a wide range of emerging infections (including respiratory syndromes, diarrheal diseases, foodborne illnesses, zoonotic diseases, and others) through integrated disease surveillance, prevention, and control activities.
- Training in field epidemiology and laboratory methods: Training for scientists and public health practitioners in field epidemiology and laboratory methods builds and strengthens public health systems and increases their capacity to detect and control emerging infectious diseases.
- Pandemic influenza preparedness and response: Influenza viruses, especially highly pathogenic avian influenza remain the most urgent global infectious disease threat. Development of influenza surveillance capacity – both laboratory and epidemiologic – in host countries, including improving and expanding global surveillance networks, increasing virus isolation and epidemiological data collection through expansion of capacity; and increasing timely identification, reporting, and response to outbreaks.
- Zoonotic disease investigation and control: Veterinary expertise to help strengthen capacity in detecting and responding to zoonotic diseases, and enhance partnerships between the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Health within host countries. Approximately 60% of recently identified emerging infectious diseases affecting humans are diseases of animal origin. Additionally, 80% of pathogens with a high potential for bioterrorism are zoonoses.
- Health communication and information technology: Focused efforts in health communication and information to strengthen communication with affected populations during outbreaks, and assure that public health responses are culturally, technologically, and scientifically appropriate and disseminated in the most cost-effective, time-sensitive manner possible.
- Laboratory systems and biosafety: Ensuring appropriate containment facilities, equipment, policies/practices, security precautions, and occupational health programs to encourage working safely with highly pathogenic agents, and strengthening laboratory operations by standardizing test procedures, laboratory protocols, and management practices.