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Global Disease Detection Program: Kenya

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been a trusted partner in Kenya since 1979, helping address public health challenges ranging from malaria to HIV/AIDS. In 2004, CDC furthered this partnership by establishing a Global Disease Detection (GDD) Regional Center in coordination with the World Health Organization (WHO).

The GDD Center in Kenya is colocated with the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) in Nairobi, and works in partnership with regional and international organizations dedicated to protecting the public’s health.

The GDD Regional Center and its partners have assisted in detecting and responding to serious outbreaks of cholera, Ebola, drug-resistant tuberculosis, influenza, Rift Valley fever, and typhoid. The Center has also responded to environmental public health emergencies, including a severe outbreak of aflatoxin from contaminated maize.

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

The GDD Center's influenza program continues to support ongoing sentinel surveillance for children's severe acute respiratory illness associated with influenza and other respiratory pathogens in Kenya.

The GDD Center’s influenza program continues to support ongoing sentinel surveillance for children’s severe acute respiratory illness associated with influenza and other respiratory pathogens in Kenya.
  • Emerging infectious disease detection and response
  • Field epidemiology and laboratory training
  • Pandemic influenza preparedness and response
  • Zoonotic disease research and control

The Center’s activities and resources connect regions and countries throughout the continent. The Center coordinates strategies and technical expertise across partners to improve public health throughout Africa. Through partnerships with governmental and non-governmental agencies, the Center links vital resources to build the region’s capacity to detect and respond to diseases.

Making an Impact

An enteric bacteriologist picking Salmonella isolates for drug sensitivity testing in the Global Disease Detection Regional Center in Kenya.

An enteric bacteriologist picking Salmonella isolates for drug sensitivity testing in the Global Disease Detection Regional Center in Kenya.

From 2006-2016, the Center in Kenya has supported:

  • Effective response to over 348 outbreaks in 12 countries
  • Ongoing disease surveillance at all provincial hospitals in Kenya
  • Detection and identification of 21 novel strains and pathogens new to the region or world
  • Establishment of newly available in-country laboratory diagnostic testing capacity for 69 pathogens
  • Graduation of over 141 future global health leaders from four countries as part of the two-year Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program (FELTP)
  • Participation of over 14,972 public health officials from 25 countries in short-term public health exercises, including emergency preparedness, epidemiology, and laboratory diagnostics
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