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WHO Collaborating Center for International Health Regulations

How does Global Disease Detection (GDD) support the International Health Regulations?

In December 2009, CDC’s Division of Global Disease Detection and Emergency Response was designated by WHO as a Collaborating Center for Implementation of the revised International Health Regulations.

Many countries lack the essential resources and appropriate health infrastructure to meet the revised International Health Regulations (IHR 2005) requirements to effectively monitor, report, and respond to any disease threat with the potential to harm the public’s health. In addition to national compliance, the U.S. is committed to helping countries with limited resources develop the essential detection and control capacities for full and effective implementation of the IHR 2005.

CDC is a domestic and international leader for ensuring IHR compliance and coordination for the United States and WHO member states. As an agency, CDC’s global health resources support at least one IHR core capacity area in over 90 countries through its network of laboratories, surveillance systems, training programs in field epidemiology and laboratory science, and support for pandemic preparedness.

Building Capacity

Pictured is a training in pandemic preparedness led by the Global Disease Detection Center for Central America and Panama. CDC and WHO continue to help all Member States respond to pandemic influenza. The goal is to reduce the impact of the pandemic on society.

A primary focus is support to health systems in countries with less resources to help them prevent, detect, treat and mitigate cases of illness associated with this virus.

Training in pandemic preparedness is led by the Global Disease Detection Center for Central America and Panama.

The GDD program has assisted WHO member states and regions with IHR capacity building and implementation since its inception. The designation as a WHO Collaborating Center for National Surveillance and Response Capacity enables more direct collaboration with WHO to meet country requests for assistance and provide joint training.

  • GDD activities are conducted in alignment with Article 44 of the IHR, which directs State Parties to collaborate with each other to detect, assess, and respond to events, and to develop, strengthen, and maintain public health capacities.
  • GDD Regional Centers function as members of the Global Outbreak Alert Response Network (GOARN) during emergencies. When a CDC field response is indicated, the GDD Operations Center assists through access to CDC’s headquarters and global resources, including more than 250 CDC field-based experts in more than 50 countries. In non-emergency settings, the Centers work with country partners to implement disease detection and response trainings, protocols, and interventions.

Public Health Emergency
According to the World Health Organization, a public health emergency is an occurrence or imminent threat of illness or health conditions caused by bioterrorism, epidemic or pandemic disease, or highly fatal infectious agents or toxins that pose serious risk to a significant number of people.

Responding to Public Health Emergencies of International Concern (PHEIC):

GDD Regional Centers work within the region to develop local ability to detect and respond effectively to both known and unknown disease events with the potential for international spread, and provide:

  • Training in field epidemiology and laboratory methods
  • Surveillance and response for emerging infectious disease threats
  • Assistance with pandemic influenza preparedness
  • Promotion of zoonotic disease investigations and control efforts
  • Risk communications
  • Laboratory biosafety and improved laboratory systems

  • Page last reviewed: June 24, 2011
  • Page last updated: June 24, 2011
  • Content source: Global Health
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