Public Health Emergency - Leading a Nation Prepared
Since its establishment in 2006, ASPR has actively collaborated with partner countries and international organizations to strengthen core public health emergency preparedness and response capacities. Those relationships have grown to include many countries in Africa, Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, and Central and South America, and a number of cooperative agreements have allowed ASPR to fund several projects that target key gaps and challenges in pandemic influenza and emerging infectious disease preparedness. Capacity building activities have focused on assisting partners to build national core capacities in their countries to fulfill their obligations under the International Health Regulations (IHR 2005).
These collaborations are supported through a combination of programmatic and policy activities, grants, and cooperative agreements. Under these arrangements, DIHS has initiated and overseen:
DIHS has supported multiple projects aimed at strengthening national public health systems through both financial and technical assistance, together with the Pasteur Institute and the Institute Pasteur International Network (IPIN)-affiliated laboratories. Through IPIN, DIHS is primarily supporting strengthening these systems in Cambodia, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Ivory Coast, Madagascar, and Senegal with the anticipated addition of Guinea in 2018. In the past, some assistance has also been provided to the Pasteur laboratories in Vietnam and Laos.
Capacity building and sustainment focus on pandemic influenza and other emerging infectious disease surveillance and response systems. DIHS currently supports the WHO-certified National Influenza Centers in Cameroon, Central African Republic, and Senegal, as well as the Southeast Asia Regional H5N1 Reference Center in Cambodia. Surveillance and response for other emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, such as viral hemorrhagic fevers and poliovirus, and outbreak early-warning surveillance systems are being supported in Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Madagascar, and Senegal. In several countries, the DIHS cooperative agreement funds are used to support national epidemiology training programs and public health emergency planning with the Ministries of Health and Agriculture. Funds also and help the national laboratory professionals to reach out and support neighboring y countries who do not have an affiliated IPIN laboratory.
In 2017, the cooperative agreement was leveraged to facilitate work by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) under the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA). DIHS, CDC, and IPIN collaborated to develop a new training program for non-influenza respiratory disease surveillance for the GHSA Phase I francophone countries in West and Central Africa that will be adaptable to their unique local laboratory systems. The training will focus on using single- and multiplex polymerase chain reaction methods for identifying viral and bacterial causes of influenza-like illness and severe acute respiratory illness.
Core objectives with priority countries include:
DIHS is supporting with Panama’s Gorgas Memorial Institute for Health Studies (GMI) to enhance regional public health emergency preparedness and response capabilities in laboratories, international points of entry, and IHR NFPs.
Core objectives include:
Since 2012, the IHR Program has supported WHO/Pan American Health Organization-led missions, in collaboration with regional IHR NFPs, to strengthen the Americas’ IHR NFP capacities. During these missions, the U.S. IHR NFP exchange IHR-relevant operational and procedural knowledge and experiences and share best practices on U.S. IHR NFP operations. Such exchanges include discussing U.S. government reporting procedures and transparent domestic information sharing protocols and templates for adoption and adaptation relevant to respective countries’ IHR NFP operations, as well as support in drafting IHR NFP Standard Operating Procedures.
Through several cooperative agreements
with Mexico’s National Center for Disease Prevention and Control
Programs (CENAPRECE) and Directorate for Epidemiology (DGE), DIHS
supported the establishment of Mexico’s first federal BSL-3 laboratory,
which became a part of the CDC’s Laboratory Response Network in 2012.
DIHS has also overseen activities aimed at strengthening Mexico’s
IHR NFP operations, rapid public health event reporting and response,
training for national public health emergency managers, coordination of
international health security strategy, development of secure sample
sharing protocols for the Institute for National Institute for
Diagnostics and Epidemiological Reference (InDRE), and support for
multisectoral planning and policy development aligned with North American Plan for Animal and Pandemic Influenza (NAPAPI).
In 2003, HHS created the U.S. Border State Early Warning Infectious Disease Surveillance (EWIDS) Project to enhance the ability of Border States and border jurisdictions (including tribes) straddling the borders to rapidly detect infectious disease outbreaks along the border. The U.S. Border States EWIDS Project was designed to build the capacity of public health systems of all 20 U.S. border states (including Alaska), to establish or improve their cross-border early warning of infectious diseases, either naturally occurring, or of a bioterrorist nature.
Under this unique collaboration with HHS-CDC, border states that received EWIDS funding submitted project proposals designed to improve the ability to rapidly detect, identify, and report outbreaks of infectious disease associated with potential bio-terror agents or other major threats to public health along the border. These proposals included projects that improve surveillance, epidemiological investigation, laboratory diagnostics, and/or health alert messaging capacities and capabilities, and have included workforce development and training. EWIDS projects also developed and improved border-wide and state-to-state and state-to-province mechanisms for effective cross-border exchange of surveillance findings among neighboring border jurisdictions and the three Federal governments.
Before the EWDIS projects ended in 2013, DIHS worked with CDC’s Division of State and Local Readiness to ensure the Public Health Emergency Preparedness funding would be able to support state and local awardees.
From 2006 through 2013, a special companion project along the U.S.-México border region, the EWIDS- México Project, has been designed with similar goals and objectives to assist the six Mexican Border States and México’s Federal Secretariat of Health in strengthening the same capacities and capabilities along México’s northern border. In addition to the investments being made in México’s six northern Border States, this project focused on improving the laboratory capacity of the México’s national institute for diagnostic and epidemiological reference in México City, along with the functional capabilities of its national network of laboratories. DIHS also supported the establishment of Mexico’s first federal BSL-3 laboratory, which became a part of the CDC’s Laboratory Response Network in 2012.
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