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Global Disease Detection Program: Georgia and the South Caucasus

Preparing samples following the discovery of a novel orthopox virus in Georgia.

Preparing samples following the discovery of a novel orthopox virus in Georgia.

The Global Disease Detection (GDD) program has been operating in the South Caucasus region since 2009. This GDD Center works closely with Georgia’s National Center for Disease Control and Public Health (NCDC), and the Ministries of Health and Agriculture in Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. This partnership aims to build public health workforce capacity and strengthen public health systems needed to effectively respond to health issues in the South Caucasus region.

To combat health threats, GDD Georgia provides ongoing technical assistance in outbreak investigation and surveillance. The Center works in a variety of areas, including vaccine preventable diseases; elimination of Hepatitis C; combating zoonotic diseases; and surveillance of respiratory, enteric, and hospital acquired infections.

The GDD Center in in the South Caucasus Region helps contain outbreaks close to the source by building up local resources, drawing on combined expertise in:

  • Emerging infectious disease detection and response
  • Field epidemiology and laboratory training
  • Pandemic influenza preparedness and response
  • Zoonotic disease research and control

Making an Impact

From 2013-2016, the Center in Georgia has supported*:

A survey team (on the right) investigating a potential outbreak of Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever, looking for a study participant at the edge of a herding field in Georgia.

A survey team (on the right) investigating a potential outbreak of Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever, looking for a study participant at the edge of a herding field in Georgia.

  • Effective response to 25 outbreaks, including 8 outbreaks where support was provided to other countries
  • Establishment of newly available in-country laboratory diagnostic testing capacity for 13 pathogens
  • Detection and identification of one pathogen (Akhmeta virus) new to the world
  • Graduation of 84 future global health leaders from six countries as part of the two-year Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP)
  • Training of nearly 967 regional public health officials in public health exercises, including emergency preparedness, epidemiology, and laboratory diagnostics

*Data not available before 2013

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