CDC’s Global Health Mission

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) aspires to create a world where people in the United States and around the globe live healthier, safer, and longer lives. CDC’s global health mission is to improve and maintain the health, safety, and security of Americans by working 24/7 to reduce morbidity and mortality worldwide. CDC works to address global health threats before they affect the United States. CDC is the lead U.S. government agency for public health and infectious disease outbreak preparedness and response activities.

CDC’s Global Health Mission

Yerbulan Akhmetov, Health Communication Specialist for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Olga Hegai, Microbiologist for National Center of Expertise (NCE), at NCE laboratory in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, June 22, 2021. Credit: Maxim Malov CDC

Five pillars support and guide CDC’s global health work: scientific expertise, diverse partnerships, innovation, sustainability, and health equity. By focusing on initiatives and interventions that reach the most vulnerable populations, CDC seeks to eliminate health disparities and achieve optimum global health.

Translating knowledge and experience across domestic and global health efforts is critical to strengthening health systems and effectively detecting, responding to, and stopping epidemic threats. The goal of CDC’s global health work is to improve health outcomes and strengthen global health security by building the capacity of partner countries to detect diseases and stop health threats.

CDC staff deployed overseas are America’s first line of defense to protect Americans’ health when infectious disease outbreaks erupt around the world. As part of strengthening global health security, CDC works closely with ministries of health and other partners to build capacity in surveillance, laboratory, emergency response, and prepare the public health workforce to respond to disease outbreaks and prepare for future threats.

CDC’s Global Health Mission

CDC improves the health, safety, and security of Americans while reducing morbidity and mortality worldwide.

CDC’s global health work includes:

  • Protecting Americans by playing a leading role to advance health security in the United States and around the world
  • Co-leading the implementation of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)
  • Executing prevention and vaccination activities across the globe, including as a founding member of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), and targeting core vaccine preventable disease activities such as measles and rubella elimination
  • Building global respiratory sentinel and event-based surveillance capacity and expanding the knowledge base on respiratory and Vaccine Preventable Diseases (VPDs)
  • Co-implementing the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI)
  • Overseeing the implementation of programs to address leading causes of death worldwide, including Tuberculosis (TB), influenza, and hepatitis
  • Strengthening worldwide laboratory testing and reporting capacities
  • Partnering with government agencies and public health organizations to review and update data collection processes
  • Preventing and managing neglected tropical diseases
  • Fighting health issues at the human-animal-environment interface
  • Implementing healthcare programs to prevent the spread of antibiotic resistance, including infection prevention and control programs; water, sanitation, and hygiene programs; and antibiotic/antifungal stewardship programs
  • Helping countries build strong border health strategies
  • Promoting and supporting innovative, evidence-based interventions to prevent and control noncommunicable diseases such as diabetes and heart disease

CDC is preparing for future public health challenges – including the next pandemic. No community, district, or province within a nation will be healthy until all are. No nation, including the United States, can be truly safe until all nations have the core public health capabilities and the health systems in place to protect the most marginalized. CDC works on behalf of the American people to save lives around the world by partnering with other nations to prevent, prepare for, and respond to infectious disease threats.

CDC’s Global Health Priorities

Health Impact: Save lives, improve health outcomes, and foster healthy populations

Health Security: Strengthen global health prevention, detection, and response to protect Americans and populations worldwide

Public Health Science Leadership: Lead and influence the advancement of global health science and practice

Health worker and patient sit outdoors at a table in an HIV/TB clinic in Tanzania

A health worker at a community health clinic Tanzania tells a man about the benefits of getting vaccinated against COVID-19. This CDC-supported HIV/TB clinic - in Tanzania’s Tabora Region also offers COVID-19 vaccines to clients. Credit: Wasiwasi Kilave, Management and Development for Health