Global Health Programs
We work with Ministries of Health and other global health partners in dozens of countries to support their efforts in fighting foodborne, waterborne, and mycotic (fungal) diseases. At the invitation of host countries, we provide training and critical technical assistance in the areas of surveillance, epidemiology, laboratory capacity building, and communications.
CDC’s global WASH program provides expertise and interventions aimed at saving lives and reducing illness by improving global access to healthy and safe water, adequate sanitation, and improved hygiene. Our work involves partnerships with other US government agencies, Ministries of Health, non-governmental agencies, and various international agencies.
The Safe Water System
CDC’s Safe Water System (SWS) protects communities from contaminated water by promoting behavior change and providing affordable and sustainable solutions. The SWS increases access to safe water by helping individuals treat and safely store water in homes, health facilities, and schools. Safe Water System programs operate in over 30 countries around the world, treating 90 billion liters of water since 1998.
Proper hygiene education is a critical step in reducing illness and death from diarrheal disease. CDC and partners work around the world to promote handwashing with soap and measure its effects on diarrheal diseases, respiratory diseases, and child development.
CDC works with partners around the world to prevent and control the spread of cholera, primarily in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Since a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck the island nation of Haiti in 2010, CDC and a wide range of partners have helped Haiti reorganize, reconstruct, and restore systems and control disease outbreaks, including the ongoing cholera crisis. The 2011 Global Health E–brief highlights the health impact of this work in Haiti: CDC Global Health E-Brief, Haiti: One Year after the Earthquake 2011.
Neglected Tropical Diseases
Millions more people suffer from WASH-related neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), such as soil-transmitted helminthiases (STHs, for example, infections with Ascaris, hookworm, and Trichuris), Guinea worm disease (GWD), trachoma, and schistosomiasis. CDC works with partners to integrate WASH into existing NTD and other disease control programs for long-term success.
Fungal diseases are a serious threat to people around the world, particularly those who have weakened immune systems from diseases such as HIV/AIDS or from certain therapies for cancer. Many people at risk for and suffering from fungal diseases live in resource-limited settings, where diagnosis and treatment of these infections can be challenging. CDC is working with many different partners across the globe to improve access to fungal diagnostics and antifungal medications. Through these efforts, there will be better understanding of the true burden of fungal diseases and development of strategies to prevent and limit disease.
The Global Acute Diarrheal Diseases Program (GADD) platform focuses on preventing foodborne and waterborne (enteric) diseases around the world. The program does this by equipping countries with the tools they need to train many health workers in their own countries on how to set up sustainable outbreak systems. Setting up a response system for these common pathogens may also help countries when responding to uncommon pathogens, such as Ebola.
The program focuses on working with partners to strengthen public health response to the enteric diseases in resource-limited countries. GADD offers project-based training to key players in outbreak investigations and surveillance by sponsoring workshops tailored to each country’s specific needs at the district, national and region levels.
We work with Ministries of Health and other global health partners in dozens of countries worldwide to support their efforts in fighting foodborne, waterborne, and mycotic (fungal) diseases. In the last five years, at the invitation of host countries, we provided training and critical technical assistance in the areas of outbreak investigation, surveillance, epidemiology, laboratory capacity building, and communications. We did this through temporary duty assignments from CDC headquarters and CDC regional and country offices.
Foodborne illnesses can spread quickly and cause health and financial hardship anywhere the world. As a result of increasing international trade, food produced in one country may be consumed in a different part of the world and cause disease if contaminated with a foodborne pathogen. PulseNet International is a network of National and regional laboratory networks dedicated to tracking foodborne infections world-wide. Each laboratory utilizes standardized genotyping methods, sharing information in real-time.
The International Collaboration on Enteric Disease ‘Burden of Illness’ Studies (International Collaboration) was established in 2004. The purpose of the collaboration is to facilitate communication between individuals who have conducted or are interested in conducting studies to determine the burden of enteric or foodborne disease.
The collaboration is a forum for sharing information and technical advice on the design, implementation, and analysis of ‘burden of illness’ studies. It includes a moderated list-serv, a website, quarterly conference calls, and an annual meeting. Working groups have been established to facilitate our understanding of the global burden of disease and contribute to global burden of enteric disease estimates.
- CDC Global Health
- Global Water, Sanitation, & Hygiene (WASH)
- Safe Water System
- Water-related Hygiene
- WASH Away Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs)
- PulseNet International
- Global Health Protection and Security
- International Emergency and Refugee Health
- Field Epidemiology Training Program
- Global HIV/AIDS
- Sustainable Management Development Program
- Travelers’ Health
- Page last reviewed: November 15, 2012
- Page last updated: April 15, 2016
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