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International Emergency Preparedness Team

To enhance the public health emergency preparedness and response capacity of CDC and the global health community to strengthen global health security, reduce morbidity and mortality, and improve the health of populations affected by humanitarian emergencies through trainings, technical assistance and support of the International Health Regulations (IHR).


  • Improve global health security by working with  CDC’s international partners to prepare for and respond to public health emergencies through emergency management
  • Help CDC’s international partners achieve their International Health Regulations (IHR) emergency preparedness and response goals through the provision of assistance for the formation and training of IHR-based rapid response teams
  • Strengthen emergency management capacity of CDC and its partners through training and the development of emergency operations centers, plans, and simulation exercises
  • Improve the bio-security and bio-safety of CDC and its partners by providing technical assistance
  • Develop global public health capacity in collaboration with Emory University through mentoring, course instruction, thesis supervision, and summer practicum experiences

Areas of Focus

  • Public Health Emergency Management Capacity Building
    The Public Health Emergency Management Capacity Building Fellowship is a six-month program that is supported by CDC’s Division of Emergency Operations ( and the International Emergency Preparedness Team. The fellowship is designed to strengthen public health emergency management capacity among members of the international public health community. During this six-month Fellowship, CDC provides a comprehensive, standardized program of study, including learning objectives, thoughtful sequencing of topics and experiences, and short and long-term applied projects that will allow fellows to reflect on their learning. Fellows participate in briefings, trainings, and site visits; meet with program staff across the agency involved in emergency preparedness; and receive an in-depth exposure to the functioning of an Emergency Operations Center and key organization units within CDC.

    Since the inception of the fellowship, CDC has hosted fellows from the Kenyan Ministry of Health Division of Disease Surveillance and Response, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC) Public Health Emergency Center, and the South Korean CDC.

  • Emergency Operations Center Plan Development

  • Assessments
    • Public Health Security Assessment in China
      • Through collaboration between the CDC Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response and IEPT, an assessment was conducted of the current status of China’s public health security systems and trainings were provided to the China CDC at the national and provincial levels. 
      • This assessment was conducted in conjunction with the China CDC and limited to a set of public health security capabilities focused on:
        • Emergency Operations Coordination
        • Emergency Public Information and Warning
        • Information Sharing
        • Non-pharmaceutical Interventions
        • Public Health Laboratory Testing
        • Public Health Surveillance and Epidemiologic Investigation
        • Responder Safety and Health
  • Ministry of Health (MOH) Emergency Preparedness Assessment in eight countries of Central America
    • IEPT in collaboration with Consejo de Ministero de Salud de Centroamerica y Republica Dominicana (in English: The Council of Ministries of Health of Central America and the Dominican Republic) (COMISCA) developed an instrument to assess eight functional areas of public health emergency preparedness:
      • Public Health Emergency Plan
      • Command and Control
      • Communication Infrastructure
      • Public Information and Risk Communication
      • Logistics and Operational Process
      • Medical Coordination
      • Training, Exercises, and Evaluation
      • Surveillance Systems
  • The Emergency Preparedness Assessment Tool was used to systematically evaluate the emergency preparedness of the MOHs of Central America, and identify areas in which improvements can be made.
  • IEPT Training Topics
    • Plan development
    • Tabletop Exercises
    • Emergency Operations Center development
    • Workforce and leadership development
    • IHR  Rapid Response Teams

Training Example             

  • IEPT provided training on emergency preparedness plan development to 29 representatives of the Panamanian Ministry of Health, one representative from the Guatemalan Ministry of Health, and two representatives from the Colombian Ministry of Health. This training covered the core components of an emergency operations plan and the development of standard operating procedures.
  • IEPT Develops Global Public Health Capacity in Collaboration with Emory University (
    • Summer practicum experiences
      • Over the course of four years, 24 students have participated in the IEPT summer practicum program working on emergency management projects in:
        • Bangladesh
        • China
        • Egypt
        • Guatemala
        • India
        • Kazakhstan
        • Kenya
        • South Africa
        • Thailand
        • Uganda
        • Vietnam
    • Course instruction
    • Thesis supervision
      • Over the last five years, IEPT has supervised nine MPH theses. A sample of some of the thesis topics include:
        • U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in China: Emergency Action Plan
        • Development and Implementation of a Public Health Emergency Preparedness Assessment Tool for Ministries of Health of the Central American Region
        • CDC Global Disease Detection Operations Center International Team H1N1 Preparedness Plan
        •  Trauma, Emergencies, and Disasters: A Comprehensive Review of the Emergency Medical Services System in Kenya
    • Mentoring of Master of Public Health students


  • Accomplishments
    Former Soviet UnionRepublic of Georgia, Kazakhstan
    Sub Saharan AfricaKenya, South Africa, Uganda
    South AsiaBangladesh India
    Southeast AsiaThailand, Vietnam, China
    Middle East and North AfricaEgypt, Iraq, Jordan, Yemen
    Latin AmericaBelize, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Columbia

Map created using:

Sub- Saharan Africa

  • Kenya
    • IEPT conducted the Kenyatta National Hospital Disaster Preparedness and Response Training. This training was attended by 80 staff members of the hospital The training covered various topics related to emergency preparedness and response including:
      • Incident Command System
      • International Health Regulations
      • Tabletop Exercises
      • Fire Preparedness
      • Kenyan National Disaster Operations Center
      • Risk Communications
      • Development of an Emergency Operations Plan
    • In collaboration with the CDC Emergency Operations Center, IEPT established a cache of emergency supplies with the CDC-Kenya country office. These supplies support CDC responders during emergency field deployments to Kenya, the Horn of Africa and South Sudan.

Southeast Asia

  • Bangladesh
    • CDC has been working with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research to provide technical assistance on the functions and design of an Emergency Operations Center.
  • India
    • CDC has been working with the Indian National Center for Disease Control (NCDC) on the development of the Strategic Health Operations Centre (SHOC) which serves as the centralized facility for coordinating NCDC’s public health emergency response operations including public health emergencies or disaster operations. CDC has provided technical assistance on:
      • Establishment of a SHOC
      • Roles and Responsibilities of SHOC staff
      • Incident Command System (Incident Response System)
      • Development of an all-hazard plan, infectious disease annex, and standard operating procedures       
  • Thailand
    • IEPT has been working with the CDC-Thailand Strengthening Laboratory Capacity Program to support the Thai National Institutes of Health, National Institutes of Animal Health, Bureau of Pathogen and Animal Toxin Act, and Bureau of Epidemiology in the development and facilitation of tabletop exercises for laboratories. 

Middle East and North Africa

  • Yemen
    • CDC in collaboration with the Department of State Biosecurity Engagement Program is working with the Yemeni Ministry of Public Health to plan a risk communications workshop related to the International Health Regulations
  • Iraq
    • CDC in collaboration with the Department of State Biosecurity Engagement Program is working with the Iraqi Ministry of Health on the development of an Emergency Operations Center Development Tool. The objective of the tool is to give Iraq the ability to develop a national public health Emergency Operations Center. The tool will include a DVD with instructional materials about aspects of emergency management and the functions of an Emergency Operations Center.


  • Page last reviewed: February 11, 2014
  • Page last updated: February 11, 2014 The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
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