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Div. of Media Relations
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MS D-14
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(404) 639-3286
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February 6, 2001
Contact: CDC, Division of Media Relations
(404) 639–3286

Press Release

World Bank and CDC sign agreement to improve health in developing and transition countries

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Bank signed a groundbreaking agreement today to work more closely together to improve health in developing and transition countries through better communication, coordination, and collaboration.

Under this agreement, CDC is assigning technical experts to the World Bank to collaborate in the design, implementation, and evaluation of projects on prevention and control of malaria in Africa; on environmental health in South Asia; on chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and cancer, and their risk factors including tobacco abuse in Latin America and in Eastern Europe/Central Asia; and on immunizations and vaccine preventable diseases globally.

Dr. Jeffrey P. Koplan, CDC director, states, "The combination of CDC's health knowledge, skills and experience, and the World Bank's economic know-how and development capability make a powerful partnership to improve global health."

The broader range of global health activities will also include: nutrition, maternal and child health, infectious diseases (e.g. HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis), public health, health surveillance, health policy, program planning and evaluation, health statistics, health economics, operational/applied research, health policy research, health services research, and health care technology.

"To meet the development challenges of the 21st century, the World Bank needs to strengthen its partnerships with other agencies to advance international understanding and initiatives related to health, nutrition, and populations. We welcome this new opportunity to extend our collaborative and cooperative efforts with the CDC," said Christopher Lovelace, Director of the Health, Nutrition, and Population Sector at the World Bank.

The urgency is evident in the fact that, as Dr. Stephen Blount, Associate Director for Global Health at CDC indicates, "Nearly 1.3 billion people, representing one fourth of the world's population, continue to live in absolute poverty. Ninety-three percent of the global disease burden is concentrated in low- and middle-income countries."

Most developing and transition countries face difficult challenges caused by continued poverty, malnutrition, poor health, poor performance of many health systems, and inadequate and/or unsustainable health care financing. The World Bank is the leading global financial lender to low- and middle-income countries for development. The CDC is recognized as a leader in global disease prevention and control. The World Bank/CDC agreement was developed based on a recognition that a strong public-private partnership between these two unique organizations was needed to better combat the threats to global health.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) protects people's health and safety by preventing and controlling diseases and injuries; enhances health decisions by providing credible information on critical health issues; and promotes healthy living through strong partnerships with local, national and international organizations.

For more information, visit the following Web sites: 
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: 
World Bank Homepage:

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This page last reviewed February 6, 2001

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