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Global Disease Detection Program: Thailand

In 2009, CDC’s Global Disease Detection Regional Center in Thailand built laboratory capacity across seven countries, enabling them to conduct new tests and respond more effectively to infectious disease threats
CDC’s Global Disease Detection Regional Center in Thailand built laboratory capacity across seven countries, enabling them to conduct new tests and respond more effectively to infectious disease threats.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has worked alongside the Ministry of Public Health in Thailand since 1980 to address major public health challenges in the country. In 2004, CDC established a Global Disease Detection (GDD) Regional Center to better answer the complexity of emerging infectious diseases in Thailand and the Asia-Pacific region. The GDD Center builds upon an established CDC and World Health Organization (WHO) presence; local expertise; and strong existing partnership with the Thailand Ministry of Public Health.

The GDD Center collaborates with partners to help Thailand and Southeast Asia detect and respond to serious public health threats such as influenza; tuberculosis; zoonotic diseases like anthrax, brucellosis, and Nipah virus; and vector-borne diseases like dengue, malaria, and chikungunya. Among other activities, the Center has supported a world-renowned Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP); developed effective strategies to decrease and contain HIV transmission; and assisted in international responses to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).

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

Two scientists collect soil samples in a green field in Thailand.

Scientists working with the GDD Center in Thailand collect soil samples to evaluate the environment as a reservoir for unusual types of Legionella, which have been detected as a cause of hospitalized pneumonia.

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

The Center engages its partner network to develop strategies and share resources to improve detection and response to emerging infectious diseases. In 2009, Center expertise was called upon to develop a comprehensive training curriculum for respiratory infection control and prevention. Through the GDD network and extensive partnerships, the curriculum developed in Thailand has been shared globally.

Making an Impact

Through FETP, the GDD Center works closely with the Ministry of Public Health to support outbreak response investigations in Thailand.

Through FETP, the GDD Center works closely with the Ministry of Public Health to support outbreak response investigations in Thailand.

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

  • Effective response to 93 outbreaks at the invitation of WHO and affected countries
  • Ongoing disease surveillance activities
  • Establishment of newly available in-country laboratory diagnostic testing capacity for 45 pathogens
  • Detection and identification of 21 novel strains and pathogens new to the region or world
  • Graduation of 100 future global health leaders from six countries as part of the two-year Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP)
  • Training of public health officials from over 20 countries through exercises in emergency preparedness, epidemiology, and laboratory diagnostics and biosafety
  • Development and implementation of WHO-endorsed standardized teaching curricula for Pandemic Rapid Response and Outbreak Investigations
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