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Global Activities Update

Division of Bacterial Diseases (DBD) News Bulletin

Spring 2013

Global Day at Division of Global HIV/AIDS Annual Meeting

Rana Hajjeh (OD) co-chaired, with Mary Kay Larson from the Division of Global HIV/AIDS (DGHA), the “Global Day” at the annual CDC DGHA meeting held March 11–15, 2013. Global Day highlighted the large scope of international public health activities being undertaken by CDC staff agency wide and brought together participants from CDC country offices, CDC staff in headquarters, and many national and international partners. Rana Hajjeh and Cynthia Whitney (RDB) participated in a breakout session on immunizations focused on efforts to accelerate new vaccine introduction and evaluation of their impact in developing countries.

Global Lab Forum

DBD members at the Global Health Laboratory Forum

Lesley McGee (RDB), Brunilis Burgos-Rivera (RDB), Stephanie Schwartz (OD), and Rana Hajjeh (OD) stand with the poster DBD presented at the Global Health Laboratory Forum, which highlights many of DBD’s global laboratory-related activities.

The First Global Health Laboratory Forum was held February 25, 2013, in CDC’s Tom Harkin Global Communication Center. The well-attended daylong event was a rare opportunity for laboratory scientists and others from across CDC to come together and share and discuss their activities around the world. Scientists from across DBD highlighted many of their accomplishments in poster presentations, and attended sessions and round-table discussions about a broad range of topics related to global health. Volunteers represented DBD by staffing a booth for NCIRD and discussing our many ongoing global laboratory projects, collaborations, and capacity-building efforts with others interested in global work.

Global Action Plan for Pneumonia and Diarrhoea

On April 12, 2013, the integrated Global Action Plan for Pneumonia and Diarrhoea (GAPPD) was launched. This document, spearheaded by WHO and UNICEF, with support from CDC, recognizes that prevention and control of pneumonia and diarrhea cannot be adequately dealt with separately but only through integrated programs. Without these coordinated efforts, more than 2 million children will die from these two diseases each year around the world. These diseases must be addressed to make progress towards the Millennium Development Goal to save the lives of children under the age of 5. Learn more about GAPPD.

Lab, Epi, and Data Management… So Happy Together

Ghanian sculptureIn October 2012, Ryan Novak (MVPDB) and Gerald Jones (OSELS/EAPO) traveled to Ghana to conduct a week-long data management course that was followed by a course conducted by Meningitis Lab staff (Jenny Vuong, Leonard Mayer, and Brian Harcourt) on PCR and other lab techniques, emphasizing real-time PCR.

During these trainings, epidemiology, laboratory, and data management were highlighted as the 3 components of a good surveillance system; if one is missing or there is bad communication between any of the components, then surveillance system problems are likely.

After the course, Leonard visited the Ghanaian Cultural Center that features local crafts and artwork. He was attracted to the carving pictured here that the artist said was based on the Ghanaian folklore of people holding up the world. When Leonard showed the statue to the students, one student said, “It’s lab, epi, and data management holding up the world.” “That’s our take home message,” commented Leonard.

IDSA Pertussis Meeting

The IDSA Working Group Meeting on Pertussis was held March 6, 2013, in Washington, DC. CDC collaborated with the Infectious Diseases Society of America, National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society, and HHS’ National Vaccine Program Office to hold this one-day meeting on pertussis to better define the problem and explore possible short- and long-term solutions. Thomas Clark (MVPDB) presented “Epidemiology of pertussis.” Nancy Messonnier (MVPDB) moderated “Group discussion: possible interim solutions.” Conrad Quinn (MVPDB), Lucia Pawloski (MVPDB), and Stephen Hadler (OD) also participated.

Global Reference Lab Site Visits

Carla Talarico and Sheikh Jarju in the lab

Carla Talarico (RDB) works at the bench processing cerebrospinal fluid specimens from children with suspect meningitis alongside Sheikh Jarju, from the Medical Research Council in The Gambia, which serves as the RRL for West Africa.

DBD hosts the Global Reference Laboratory (GRL) for the WHO Invasive Bacterial, Vaccine-Preventable Diseases (IB VPD) Laboratory Surveillance Network in each of the 6 WHO regions. DBD staff conducted lab assessments and trainings that help staff from these labs build in-country capacity for detection and characterization of agents of IB VPD and support a regional approach to laboratory networking.

DBD laboratory scientists provided mentorship and support during several site visits and refresher trainings for The Medical Research Council in The Gambia that serves as a Regional Reference Laboratory (RRL) for IB VPD for the African Region. Ongoing collaboration between the GRL-RRL is strengthening surveillance by emphasizing quality assurance in implementation of laboratory protocols.

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