Global Disease Detection: Thailand
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has worked with the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) and other key institutions in Thailand since 1980 to address the major public health challenges of the country, and increasingly, in Southeast Asia and beyond. These MOPH partnerships have produced a world renowned field epidemiology training program, effective strategies to curtail and contain HIV transmission, and vital international responses to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and the continued threats of avian and pandemic influenza.
In 2004, CDC established a Global Disease Detection (GDD) Regional Center to better meet the complexity of emerging infectious diseases in Thailand and the Asia-Pacific region. The Center builds upon established World Health Organization (WHO) and CDC presence, MOPH expertise, and a strong partner base.
GDD is U.S. CDC’s principal program for identifying and containing emerging infections around the world, and has been designated by WHO as a Collaborating Center for Implementation of International Health Regulations National Surveillance and Response Capacity. A central focus of GDD is the establishment and expansion of GDD Regional Centers in each WHO region.
The Center in Thailand is headquartered at the MOPH campus near Bangkok. Principal partners include the MOPH and Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, WHO regional offices in Southeast Asia and the Western-Pacific, major academic institutions, multilateral organizations, U.S. government agencies and nongovernmental institutions.
Responding to Health Threats
Together with partners, the Center helps Thailand and Southeast Asia detect and respond to serious public health threats ranging from influenza and tuberculosis to zoonotic and vector-borne diseases such as anthrax, brucellosis, dengue, malaria, and Nipah and chikungunya viruses.
Building Disease Detection and Response Capacity
Using the International Health Regulations (2005) as an organizing framework, the Center links the strengths of overseas CDC programs with country and regional partners – relying on local rather than remote resources.
The Center’s integrated approach helps reduce detection and response time by developing sustainable regional capacity in: emerging infectious disease detection and response; field epidemiology and laboratory training; pandemic influenza preparedness and response; laboratory systems and biosafety; zoonotic disease research and control; and health communications and information technology.
The Center engages its partner network to harmonize strategies and leverage resources to improve detection and response to emerging infectious diseases. In 2009, Center expertise was used to develop a comprehensive training curriculum for respiratory infection control and prevention, integrating WHO and CDC infection control guidelines for influenza, acute respiratory infections, and tuberculosis. Through GDD’s network, the curriculum developed in Thailand has been shared globally.
Making a Regional Impact
From 2006-2009, the Center in Thailand has supported: