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Global Health Programs: Global Foodborne Infections Network


The Global Foodborne Infections Network (GFN) equips countries to better detect and control foodborne and other enteric infections through increased capacity for integrated laboratory-based surveillance, and collaboration among human, veterinary, and food sectors.

Program Description

Led by its three founding agencies, the World Health Organization, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Danish Technical University-Food, and eight other global partners, GFN builds and strengthens national capacities for disease detection and control primarily through training courses and applied country projects. Training courses focus on regional or national needs ranging from basic to advanced laboratory practices, surveillance, outbreak detection and response, and attribution. Projects include studies on specific pathogens, enhanced surveillance initiatives, burden of illness estimations, or antimicrobial resistance work. GFN also builds capacity through other activities such as an external quality assurance system, country databank (passive Salmonella surveillance), reference services, fellowships, and routine communication.

Where We Work

In over 130 countries in the following regions:

  • Caribbean
  • Central America
  • Europe
  • Middle East
  • Anglophone Central and Eastern Africa
  • Francophone Western Africa
  • Anglophone Southern Africa
  • Indian Ocean
  • South Asia
  • Southeast Asia
  • East Asia
  • Western Pacific

Public Health Impact

Since 2000:
  • Over 70 international and national courses conducted globally, training
    more than 1100 microbiologists and epidemiologists from 130 countries
  • Seven GFN Regional Centers designated to provide training, to promote enhanced communication, and to develop projects in the region; locations: Trinidad and Tobago, Costa Rica, Argentina, Cameroon, Poland, China, and Thailand
  • Over 25 peer-reviewed collaborative publications or manuscripts submitted on projects, including studies on Salmonella and antimicrobial resistance
  • Free, annual, proficiency testing conducted for more than 100 global laboratories (through the GFN External Quality Assurance System – one of the world’s largest proficiency tests)
  • Routine global communication provided to over 1,000 GFN Network Members on foodborne disease and food safety issues

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  • Page last reviewed: April 18, 2011
  • Page last updated: April 18, 2011
  • Content source: Global Health
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