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Using Systems to Save Lives

	system graphic showing 7 interconnected circles in a hexagonal pattern with a center circle

Keeping the world safe from diseases requires the right people, surveillance, labs, public health organizations—and a way to manage and integrate these elements into effective systems. The Division of Global Health Protection (DGHP) and host country ministries are strengthening systems to prevent, detect, and respond to emerging disease threats quickly to prevent an epidemic.

Outbreaks not only threaten lives, but also threaten a country’s economic health—especially those with limited resources. Knowing that an outbreak overseas in a remote town can reach any United States city in just over a day, CDC is helping countries build better health systems. Our global work provides a critical public health platform to support the development of laboratories, surveillance systems, emergency operations centers (EOCs), and a trained workforce—all of which are part of the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA).

Scientist at work in Kenyan laboratry. Source: © David Snyder/CDC Foundation
Scientist at work in Kenyan laboratory. Source: © David Snyder/CDC Foundation

This issue of Updates from the Field takes an up-close look at DGHP and partners’ efforts to enhance and build strong systems that improve a country’s capacity to respond to diseases within its borders.DGHP’s work to support global health security not only protects Americans from the devastation of the next outbreak, but also makes communities worldwide safer by stopping deadly diseases and other health threats in their tracks.


  • Working with countries to support a network of public health institutes across the globe
  • Creating cross-cutting laboratory systems that can quickly identify diseases close to the source
  • Strengthening the world’s ability to prevent, detect, and respond to health threats through implementing the Global Health Security Agenda