Categories: Ebola, global disease detection, global health security, health systems strengthening, infectious disease
August 11th, 2014 9:39 am ET -
This blog was originally posted on the Huffington Post on August 7, 2014.
(AP Photo/Michael Duff)
CDC and our partners are currently fighting the biggest and most complex outbreak of Ebola virus disease ever recorded.
CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden
There are hundreds of cases in West Africa and now a new cluster of cases in Nigeria is very concerning. The spread of Ebola shows what happens if we don’t have meticulous infection control, contact tracing, and proper isolation of those with symptoms of the disease.
There are two things that are very important to understand about how Ebola spreads.
The evidence suggests that Ebola only spreads from sick people—not from people who have been exposed to the disease but haven’t yet become sick from it. The illness has an average 8-10 day incubation period, although in rare instances the incubation period may be as short as two days or as long as 21 days, which is why we recommend monitoring for 21 days after any potential exposure.
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Categories: global disease detection, global health security, health systems strengthening, infectious disease
July 8th, 2014 12:10 pm ET -
With the World Cup underway in all its frenzied glory, you can be forgiven for missing another major effort currently underway in Brazil that represents the first large scale, real-life, real-world test of important new technology.
And no, it’s not the goal-line technology that’s being used for the first time at soccer’s biggest competition.
This technology uses computer tablets, sophisticated software designed by CDC and public health experts from Brazil’s Ministry of Health (MOH) trained in the Field Epidemiological Training Program (FETP) to provide the most complete, detailed and timely information about disease threats and other public health concerns.
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Categories: global health security, health systems strengthening
May 8th, 2014 12:26 pm ET -
I’ve been with the Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP) for 2.5 years now, where I am currently the resident advisor (RA) in South Sudan. My epidemiology training has provided me with the opportunity to gain a wide variety of experiences; prior to joining FETP, I served as an epidemiologist with Médecins Sans Frontières-Switzerland (MSF-CH), working in the refugee camp in Dadaab, Kenya, and have also worked in Dawei (Tavoy), Burma . I am glad to be able to pass on my knowledge about epidemiology to future leaders in the field. As an RA I assist with basic FETP implementation for county and state surveillance officers as well as immunization managers and supervisors. I also advise on outbreak response for priority diseases as well as assist with cascade training for the health facility staff who provide immunization services.
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Categories: health systems strengthening, malaria
April 24th, 2014 4:11 pm ET -
One thing is to read a protocol, and quite another to write a protocol, do the field work, and see it through to the end" - Geraldo Chambe, FELTP resident
Four Mozambican epidemiologists-in-training spent a month walking up to ten kilometers a day to make sure that one of the most effective malaria control interventions was reaching the poorest Mozambicans. Malaria is the leading cause of death in Mozambique, and insecticide-treated bed nets are one of the key malaria control measures. Since 2007, the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) has supported the Mozambican Ministry of Health and the National Malaria Control Program (NMCP) in efforts to reduce the burden of malaria in the country, not only through distribution of bed nets, but other key components as well: indoor residual spraying, diagnostic testing and treatment with effective antimalarials, and intermittent preventive therapy for pregnant women.
Mateusz Plucinski, PhD, MPH, Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer, Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria, Malaria Branch
In 2013, with PMI support, the NMCP launched a universal bed net distribution campaign in six districts in Nampula Province, located in the northern region of Mozambique. The goal was to provide access to a bed net to the entire population living in the 250,000 households within the target area. The definition of “universal” varies somewhat by country; in Mozambique it means one bed net for every sleeping space. Mass distribution campaigns meant to achieve universal coverage are ambitious, complex, multi-step activities. They involve visiting all households in the distribution area to perform a census, determining how many bed nets to distribute per household, and organizing the logistics of delivering hundreds of thousands of bed nets to remote areas. It is therefore important to evaluate their performance and determine how successful they were in achieving their goal so that lessons learned can inform planning for the next campaign. And for the NMCP, it is important to document how increased bed net ownership and use made possible by campaigns affect malaria transmission.
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Categories: health systems strengthening
March 31st, 2014 1:43 pm ET -
Guatemala National Public Institute Director, Ministry of Health Guatemala, Mayari Centeno MD, MPH (left) and CDC - Central American Regional Office Director, Nelson Arboleda, MD, MPH (right) meet with CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH (center) in CDC-Atlanta, February 2014.
Big things often start small. So do success stories.
Nelson Arboleda, MD MPH, Director - CDC Central American Regional Office
For proof, simply look to CDC’s work – and history – in Central America. From a single field station established more than 40 years ago in El Salvador by CDC’s Division of Parasitic Diseases; CDC today has a broad and respected presence across Central America and other countries in the region.
As in other parts of the world, we are working closely with public health colleagues across the region to strengthen the capacity of Ministries of Health to prevent, detect, and control disease. We work collaboratively to strengthen countries’ abilities to respond to public health threats by providing technical expertise and evidence-based foundations for a wide array of public health programs.
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Categories: global health security, health systems strengthening, infectious disease, noncommunicable diseases (NCDs)
February 5th, 2014 3:06 pm ET -
FETP residents taking water sample to test for cholera (2013)
Dr. Victor Caceres, CDC Field Epidemiology Training Program Branch
With increased global travel, everyone is more vulnerable to emerging and reemerging public health threats. This vulnerability is why every country needs a team of highly trained epidemiologists that can detect and rapidly respond to outbreaks and is why CDC is committed to working with countries to establish and support Field Epidemiology Training Programs (FETPs) all over the world including the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) region.
For the last three years, CDC has been working with the Dominican Republic’s Ministry of Health (MoH), in collaboration with the University of Puerto Rico, to strengthen basic and intermediate-level training capacity for epidemiologists and laboratory personnel as part of the three-tiered “pyramid” training model developed and implemented by countries in Central America.
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Categories: health systems strengthening, HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis (TB)
January 28th, 2014 10:35 am ET -
CDC Global Health Director Tom Kenyon (right), CDC Global AIDS Director Deborah Birx (second from right), and CDC-Dominican Republic Director Oliver Morgan (second from left) meet with Dr. Miguel A. Gerardino (left), Director of the Juan Pablo Pina Hospital in San Cristobal, Dominican Republic, January 2014.
For a relatively small country where CDC established a full-time country office only five years ago, the Dominican Republic is suddenly drawing attention.
Oliver Morgan, MSc PhD FFPH, CDC Country Director for Dominican Republic
It’s easy to see why. The Dominican Republic is a popular vacation destination with 1.4 million Americans visiting each year. The country has a unique relationship with its neighbor, Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, where CDC also supports many programs.
Earlier this month, Dr. Tom Kenyon, Director of CDC’s Center for Global Health and Dr. Debbi Birx, who leads CDC’s Division of Global HIV/AIDs visited the Dominican Republic to review, with Dominican authorities, CDC programs to protect public health. Kenyon and Birx are the highest level CDC officials to visit the DR since CDC’s country office officially opened in 2009.
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Categories: global disease detection, global health security, health systems strengthening, HIV/AIDS, infectious disease, noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), refugee health, tuberculosis (TB), violence and injury
November 26th, 2013 12:35 pm ET -
When I became country director in 2013 the relationships between Thailand’s public health officials and CDC were already strong and well established.
Mitch Wolfe, MD MPH, Director, CDC-Thailand
That wasn’t surprising. CDC’s collaboration with the Ministry of Public Health, after all, began 30 years ago and the partnership has been prospering – and expanding – ever since. And there is a strong history between the two countries – this year Thailand and the US are celebrating 180 years of Friendship.
The reasons are well established too. And numerous.
Last summer, while visiting family, I was asked by a U.S. border guard, “Why is America working abroad for public health?” I was happy to get this question, as it was an opportunity to deepen understanding for why CDC works abroad – to protect Americans from health threats, to build important relationships with strategic partners, and to learn lessons that can be expanded to other parts of the world.
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Categories: child health, health systems strengthening, HIV/AIDS, noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), violence and injury, water, women's/maternal health
August 26th, 2013 9:22 am ET -
Chelsey Beane is pictured near the home of a traditional healer in Andruvu Village, in the Arua District of Uganda.
This is the fourth in our ongoing “Fresh Voices From the Field” series, where we hear from ASPPH (Association of School and Programs of Public Health) Global Health Fellows working throughout the world. Global Health Fellows are recent Master of Public Health or Doctoral graduates placed in CDC global health offices in Atlanta and abroad. They work on a range of priority public health issues and bring a fresh perspective to CDC’s efforts in the field. (See other “Fresh Voices” blogs.)
Chelsey Beane, MSPH, ASPH Fellow
Working at CDC headquarters in Atlanta is an amazing experience. And yet, sometimes, you can feel disconnected from the real world impact of the science that we spend all day discussing, refining, communicating, and implementing. So I was extremely grateful to have the opportunity recently to travel to Uganda to assist the CDC country team with preparation for a visit by CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden.
Although I had read the statistics, knew about our programs, and had become familiar with the major health issues in the country, I left impressed and humbled by what I experienced. I visited a rural village that had a recent outbreak of plague, where I met a small girl who had been diagnosed with diabetes, desperately in need of care and treatment, but miles from the nearest health facility. I was welcomed into the home of a family living in a tiny enclosed hut, filled with smoke from a cooking fire by which two toddlers quietly sat, and truly understood the urgent need for clean cookstoves. I saw people living in rural villages, without access to clean water. But I also saw how efforts by CDC and its partners are making a huge impact, not just for the health system as a whole, but for individuals whose lives have been changed. I saw the implementation of growing laboratory systems in the country, that are improving diagnoses of diseases, such as early infant diagnosis of HIV, and more accurate diagnosis for tuberculosis. I heard the story of a young woman who was raped and became infected with HIV, but who later had two children, both of whom were born healthy. I saw an eRanger, or motorcycle ambulance, rush into a maternal health clinic, carrying a pregnant woman whose delivery would be attended by skilled health workers.
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Categories: global disease detection, global health security, health systems strengthening, HIV/AIDS, mosquito-borne disease, women's/maternal health
August 19th, 2013 9:03 am ET -
This blog was originally posted in the Huffington Post on August 8, 2013.
CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden peers into Python Cave.
Last month I was in Uganda. As I planned for this trip, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Uganda is the only country served by the president’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) with a rising HIV incidence; I anticipated that there might be problems.
CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden
What I saw instead was impressive progress.
Although Uganda will have challenges for many years as a result of increased HIV infections over the past decade, and has much more to do, I was struck by how much headway they’ve made in the past couple of years. The country has scaled up lifesaving anti-HIV treatment as well as voluntary medical male circumcisions, which sharply reduce the chance of becoming infected.
While in Uganda, I got to peer into a cave — the same cave where two tourists got Marburg virus in 2007. This deadly virus, similar to Ebola, was unknown in this location until identified by CDC staff.
This is Python Cave — and I was awed to see the python, which is at least 12 feet long and 24
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