CDC Initiatives, Stories, and Publications
Learn more about CDC’s global public health equity work, including current initiatives, stories, and scientific publications.
CDC Success Stories
Current CDC Initiatives
- CDC defines health equity science as the investigation of underlying contributors that lead to health inequities and the use of data to inform programs, surveillance, policy, communication, and research. CDC strives to move toward eliminating, rather than simply documenting, inequities. CDC’s Global Health Center (GHC) is measuring our progress in health equity science by tracking projects and publications. GHC will use this data to guide future scientific and programmatic priorities.
- CDC staff developed an introductory course on health equity and health equity science to ensure a shared understanding of these concepts within the agency. The introductory course was adapted and delivered to fit CDC Cambodia’s and CDC Vietnam’s contexts. Since the trainings, both CDC country offices developed concrete strategies to continue promoting health equity in their work. Plans are in place expand this effort through a train-the-trainer of the introductory course, which will prepare staff to facilitate the course to their country offices and implementing partners.
- In 2023, CDC staff delivered a health equity science course was delivered to over 100 colleagues to increase understanding of the agency’s scientific review process. CDC uses this scientific review process to address health equity in global programs, surveillance, and research.
- CDC staff organize journal clubs to foster discussion based on peer-reviewed journal articles related to global health equity. These journal clubs provide a safe space where staff can learn from each other and exchange ideas. Previous discussions include the ‘decolonization of global health’ and ‘best practices to ensure equity within global health collaborations.’
- CDC also seeks to learn from partners and engage in interactive discussions through the Global Health Equity Speaker series. During these lectures, external guest speakers present to CDC staff and leadership and discuss health equity topics, including:
- Data, social determinants, and decision making
- Lessons learned for future pandemic preparedness
- Gender equity
- Adaptive leadership principles to advance equity
- The Girls Club is an initiative supported by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through the DREAMS program. CDC often supports the community organizations that implement these programs. The Girls Club provides a space for young girls and women to meet weekly to talk about sexual and reproductive health, financial literacy, job readiness, and more.
- Tuberculosis (TB) is the leading cause of death for people living with HIV. Many populations of focus – including gay and bisexual men, people who inject drugs, female sex workers, and incarcerated people – cannot access timely TB testing and treatment due to stigma and discrimination. With support from PEPFAR, CDC tailors HIV and TB services and programs in Uganda and South Africa to meet the unique needs of these populations.
- Annual influenza epidemics disproportionately impact people living in tropical low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). To help reduce health inequities in LMICs, CDC collects data from a dozen countries to understand which factors increase people’s risk of harmful effects of illnesses like influenza. CDC shares this information with local health authorities so they can use data-driven strategies to communicate risks of disease and encourage vaccination.
- Since 2006, two rotavirus vaccines (Rotarix and RotaTeq) were introduced in over 90 countries and have reduced death and disability related to rotavirus. Due to recent issues with limited supply, some countries switched to new rotavirus vaccines (Rotavac and Rotasiil). CDC and partners are studying these vaccines to ensure that they adequately and equitably prevent disease.
- CDC and WHO work with Ministries of Health in Africa to ensure that they can generate robust, high-quality data on the performance and safety of rotavirus vaccines. This information is important for sustaining the use of rotavirus vaccines and encouraging other countries to adopt the vaccine. Ultimately, when high-quality data show that public health tools are effective, decision-makers can better ensure that people have equitable access to rotavirus vaccines.
- CDC supports the Partnership for Influenza Vaccine Introduction (PIVI) to expand and sustain influenza vaccination in LMICs. Since 2012, PIVI has provided technical support and more than five million vaccines to 18 partner countries. PIVI’s support helps inform policy decisions, like ensuring that partner countries can get vaccines within their country, instead of relying on donations. Programs and partnerships like PIVI are essential to preparing for future pandemics and proved useful in the planning, distribution, and evaluation of COVID-19 vaccines.
- CDC organized the global distribution of thousands of Influenza SARS-CoV-2 (Flu SC2) multiplex assays (test kits) to more than 160 laboratories in more than 140 countries. This equals more than 1.5 million tests that CDC helped distribute since October 1, 2020. These kits helped partners in LMICs conduct more tests in less time, which saves lives.
- Update on Wild Poliovirus Type 1 Outbreak — Southeastern Africa, 2021–2022 | MMWR (cdc.gov)
- Update on Vaccine-Derived Poliovirus Outbreaks — Worldwide, January 2021–December 2022 | MMWR (cdc.gov)
- Retaining Patients with Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis on Treatment During the COVID-19 Pandemic — Dharavi, Mumbai, India, 2020–2022 | MMWR (cdc.gov)
- Scale-Up of HIV Antiretroviral Therapy and Estimation of Averted Infections and HIV-Related Deaths — Uganda, 2004–2022 | MMWR (cdc.gov)
Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal: