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Global Health Programs: International Emergency and Refugee Health


The mission of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC’s) International Emergency and Refugee Health Branch (IERHB) is to improve the health of populations affected by complex humanitarian emergencies and other international disasters, as requested by U.S. Government and United Nations agencies and nongovernmental organizations.

Program Description

Where We Work

  • Afghanistan
  • American Samoa
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Burundi
  • Cambodia
  • Colombia
  • Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
  • Cook Islands
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • East Timor
  • El Salvador
  • Eritrea
  • Ethiopia
  • Federated States of Micronesia
  • Guam
  • Guinea
  • Iraq
  • Jordan
  • Kenya
  • Kosovo
  • Laos
  • Mongolia
  • Mozambique
  • Nepal
  • Nicaragua
  • Pakistan
  • Republic of Palau
  • Republic of the Marshall Islands
  • Rwanda
  • Somalia
  • Sudan
  • Swaziland
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda
  • Vietnam
  • Western Samoa
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe
IERHB is working to improve the health of populations affected by complex humanitarian emergencies such as war, famine, civil strife, disaster, genocide, drought, and displacement. Our work focuses on five main areas:
  • Investigations: Providing technical assistance, such as rapid health and nutrition assessments, surveillance, epidemic investigations, disease prevention, program evaluation, and emergency preparedness.
  • Planning: Interpreting and implementing findings from operational research projects aimed at developing more effective public health interventions.
  • Training: Conducting training activities to strengthen the capacity of CDC, other U.S. and foreign government agencies, as well as international and private voluntary organizations.
  • Guidelines: Producing guidelines on public health issues and technical areas.
  • Partnerships: Planning and maintaining partnerships with strategic international, bilateral, and non-governmental relief organizations.

Public Health Impact

At the invitation of and in partnership with ministries of health, USAID Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), UNICEF, International Rescue Committee, and other partners, we have responded to numerous recent events including:
  • Haiti: assessing water and health messaging to prevent cholera deaths. Focusing on ensuring rehydration, ensuring safe provision of drinking water, and monitoring the cholera outbreak via surveillance and laboratory work.
  • Pakistan: providing technical guidance for USG coordination, cluster support, surveillance at diarrheal treatment centers, and conducting a nutrition survey.
  • Madagascar, Somalia, Sudan, and Uganda: assessing the effectiveness of a fortified nutrient product to prevent acute malnutrition.
  • Jordan and Iraq: measuring stress-related psychological morbidity with recommendations for stress management training of aid workers.
  • Zimbabwe: assessed magnitude of cholera outbreak of more than 100,000 cases and made recommendations for a USAID OFDA water, sanitation, and hygiene strategy.
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  • Page last reviewed: April 18, 2011
  • Page last updated: April 18, 2011
  • Content source:

    Global Health
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