Categories: Ebola, HIV/AIDS, immunization, infectious disease, malaria
December 29th, 2014 10:30 am ET -
As 2014 draws to a close, one theme that has been continuously present is the importance of a strong public health infrastructure in a country to effectively protect against vaccine-preventable diseases (VPDs). Universal access to immunization is the Decade of Vaccines vision, and in order to achieve this, more efforts are needed to build upon the existing infrastructure developed for immunization programmes and other health interventions, such as for HIV prevention and treatment and malaria control and elimination. With the importation of Ebola virus disease into Nigeria, we saw the country use its Emergency Operations Centre built to support polio eradication to quickly respond to the outbreak supporting case investigation, contact tracing, and bringing government together with national and international partners to stop the outbreak. The infrastructure built in Uganda to collect samples from individuals at the community level for HIV testing and get them to a laboratory for testing in minimal time, can be used to quickly identify cases of epidemic-prone VPDs. We should continue to build upon and use the experiences to save more lives and achieve global goals that have been delayed. The coming year, 2015, marks the halfway point of the Decade of Vaccines—let us use this moment to accelerate efforts by ensuring the public health infrastructure is there to reach every individual with lifesaving vaccines.
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Categories: child health, malaria, tuberculosis (TB), women's/maternal health
May 12th, 2014 11:05 am ET -
As we celebrate families on Mother’s Day, May 11, and the International Day of Families, May 15, I am especially proud to work in CDC’s Center for Global Health. As one of the Center’s health communication specialists, I have the privilege to write or edit many stories about how CDC’s programs impact the lives of families around the world. In honor of this season, I’d like to highlight a few of my favorite accounts about brave mothers, determined families, and CDC’s global health programs.
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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: child health, infectious disease, malaria, mosquito-borne disease, neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), parasitic diseases
April 7th, 2014 8:39 am ET -
April 7 marks World Health Day. This year World Health Day focuses on vector-borne diseases. More than half the world is at risk from vector-borne diseases. What exactly is a vector? A vector is a small organism, like a tick or mosquito, that transmits disease. Malaria, dengue, Chagas Disease and lymphatic filariasis are just four examples of vector-borne infectious diseases.
Come learn about some of these vector-borne diseases and the work that CDC does to prevent, treat, and control these diseases around the world.
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Categories: global health security, parasitic diseases
February 24th, 2014 6:17 am ET -
CDC’s DPDx helps labs around the world identify parasites like Taenia saginata. (Photo courtesy of David Snyder/CDC Foundation)
The inquiries and images come from almost every state in the United States, and often with a sense of urgency. Still others arrive from Argentina and Germany, Italy, Japan, China, New Zealand, India—and dozens more countries around the globe. Each time the question for CDC’s parasite identification laboratory, known as DPDx, is the same: What is it?
Alexandre J. da Silva, PhD, CDC DPDx
The diagnostic parasitology experts on CDC’s Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria’s DPDx team provide answers.
DPDx is the effective merger of technology, laboratory science, and CDC’s unparalleled expertise in parasite identification and the diseases they cause.
DPDx is a unique online educational resource that includes visual depictions of parasite lifecycles, a reference library of free images of parasites, and guidance on proper laboratory techniques for diagnostic parasitology. But it is much more than a Web site.
The primary role of DPDx is reference diagnosis, wherein CDC laboratory scientists confirm diagnoses or discover that the diagnosis is something altogether different from what was originally thought. In both cases, but especially in the latter cases, DPDx impacts treatment. For example, Babesia microti is one of the parasites that cause the tick-borne disease babesiosis; it can be misidentified as Plasmodium falciparum, which causes malaria. The two diseases require different treatments and on many occasions, the DPDx team has corrected a misdiagnosis, ensuring that the patient is appropriately treated.
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Categories: flu, global health security, HIV/AIDS, infectious disease, malaria, parasitic diseases
February 13th, 2014 10:58 am ET -
This blog was originally posted on CNN.com on February 13, 2014.
The world is smaller and people are more mobile than at any time in history. This makes it easier than ever for what’s happening anywhere on the globe to harm Americans’ health.
Here are five ways diseases in other countries pose a threat:
1) The flu could threaten millions. Even in a mild year for flu, in the United States alone, there are thousands of deaths, hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations, and billions of dollars in productivity losses.
In a pandemic, millions of people worldwide could be killed. H7N9 influenza, also known as bird flu, is spreading in China, though fortunately it has not mutated to become an infectious disease outbreak that could threaten the health of people around the world.
CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden
2) Antibiotic resistance is on the rise. Antibiotic resistance just might be the most urgent health threat facing us now.
The nightmare strain of bacteria known as CRE, carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, arose abroad and was introduced to one state in the United States. Now it’s in at least 44 states. It can resist all or almost all antibiotics, kills many of the people who get it in their blood, and spreads its resistance capabilities to other bacteria.
The World Health Organization estimates multidrug-resistant tuberculosis already has infected a half a. million people across the globe.
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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: infectious disease, malaria, mosquito-borne disease, parasitic diseases
October 31st, 2013 2:41 pm ET -
This blog was originally posted in the Huffington Post on October 31, 2013.
CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden
Progress can be dangerous.
Thanks to malaria elimination efforts in United States in the 1940s, most people in the U. S. today have never had any direct contact with the disease and most doctors have never seen a case. That success means it’s easy to have a relaxed attitude about protecting ourselves.
We’re now seeing the result of that relaxed attitude – the highest number of malaria cases in the United States in the past 40 years.
That’s the conclusion of our recent analysis that finds there were 1,925 malaria cases reported in the United States in 2011. Sadly, the number also includes five deaths.
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Categories: malaria, mosquito-borne disease, parasitic diseases
August 12th, 2013 6:47 am ET -
Photo by Solomon Eshetu, UN driver
Since 2007, managing the CDC Malaria Hotline has been a large part of my job as a health educator in the Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria at CDC. It’s wonderfully fulfilling because it gives me the opportunity to talk directly with the public to share information that can help them avoid malaria infection when they travel. I can hear the public’s concerns and misconceptions about malaria and work to address them in our educational materials.
Stefanie Steele, RN, MPH, CPH, CDC Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria
On average the Hotline handles 6,000 calls a year from mostly the public and healthcare providers—the vast majority are from within the United States.
The public’s primary concern is whether malaria occurs in the area they plan to visit and if so, what they can do to protect themselves. Sometimes people who have returned ill from their travel call to ask if their symptoms might be malaria. Fortunately, in the U.S. there are well-qualified healthcare providers, clinics, hospitals, and labs available most everywhere, as well as CDC prevention information I can direct them to.
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Categories: child health, health systems strengthening, malaria, parasitic diseases, women's/maternal health
July 18th, 2013 12:46 am ET -
This is the fourth installment in a five-part series about efforts to save the lives of mothers in Africa through an initiative called Saving Mothers, Giving Life. Be sure to read the other four blog posts in this series.
Nakaliga Deziranta rests in a “Mother Waiting Shed”
Saving Mothers, Giving Life (SMGL) is exploring an innovative concept aimed at reducing pre-delivery complications – the “Mother Waiting Shed.” The sheds provide at-risk mothers, particularly those traveling from far-off villages, easier access to comprehensive emergency obstetric and neonatal care – essential for averting maternal death and disability. Four waiting sheds, renovated by SMGL with funding from CDC and other partners, have been established at Kibaale Health Center IV, Kakumiro Health Center IV, Kakindo Health Center IV, and Kagadi Hospital. These sheds are just one piece of the comprehensive SMGL program that CDC supports through core strengths in reproductive/maternal health, health systems strengthening, monitoring and evaluation and human resources for health.
Erik Friedly, Associate Director for Communication, CDC-Uganda
The system works this way: mothers with a previous scar, a history of obstetric complications, transport challenges, or mal-presentation of the baby are advised to come early and wait in the shed nearer to the health facility. When mothers arrive to give birth, those who still need time to progress in labor are transferred to the waiting shed where they are constantly monitored by midwives who assess delivery progress. This sort of “triage” system allows mothers to be in a safe environment during a critical touch-and-go period for them and their babies.
Nakaliga Deziranta, a 26-year old mother of three from Kasambya village, understands the value of these innovative waiting sheds. She had always attended her antenatal care appointments at Kibaale Health Center IV. During her first visit in January 2013, she was given a dose of intermittent preventive treatment for malaria, mebendazole, an insecticide treated net, and tetanus toxoid, and, over the course of her visits, she was identified as an at-risk patient and consequently advised to travel to the health center early—at the first signs of labor. Heeding this advice, Nakaliga left home when she first began feeling labor pain, and, upon arrival at the health facility, the midwife on duty examined her and established that she was in the latent phase of labor. She made a decision to keep Nakaliga in the facility’s Mother Waiting Shed, and, after three days of progressive labor, Nakaliga finally gave birth to a healthy baby boy. Nakaliga was extremely happy with the care she received while at the shed and then during delivery and has promised to “tell other women to come in time and wait for their time of delivery from the shed.” In rural Uganda, word of mouth may be SMGL’s greatest ally, and other mothers share Nakaliga’s enthusiasm for the waiting shed concept.
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