China – Ten Years of Public Health Accomplishments – What a World of Difference a Decade MakesPosted on by
For more than 30 years, the US CDC has worked with China on public health issues that have benefited people of all nations. Together our nations proved the benefits of folic acid which saved children around the world from birth defects. We are exploring novel approaches to HIV prevention, testing and treatment. We are researching risk factors for cardiovascular disease – one of the world’s leading causes of death. Along with other nations, China and the US are working together on influenza surveillance to better protect the world.
This week, I had an opportunity to discuss these achievements with my colleague Dr. Wang Yu, Director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC). The US CDC and China CDC Directors meet annually to decide our mutual priorities, explore ways to share what we’ve learned with other nations and expand upon our collaborative successes. This was the tenth anniversary of the US-China CDC Directors meeting that allowed for reflection on a few key 10-year benchmarks.
China has made great strides in public health over the past decade. In 2003, the world was in the grip of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, also known as SARS, which began in China and resulted in sweeping changes to global public health response. In 2013, China is actively strengthening its domestic public health detection and response system. Ten years ago, US CDC began to work in China on its growing HIV/AIDS pandemic. Now, Chinese HIV/AIDS clinics are testing innovative point-of-care technologies that will be distributed globally to use in other nations in their fight against AIDS. In 2001, US CDC’s Field Epidemiology Training Program began helping China CDC to build a force of disease detectives to identify and control domestic disease outbreaks. Ten years later, China expanded its contribution to the global effort to eradicate polio by joining the Stop the
Transmission of Polio (STOP) vaccination teams. Ten years ago, China had only eight sentinel hospitals conducting virologic influenza surveillance and a single national laboratory. Throughout the next decade, US CDC supported its partners in China CDC to improve the quantity and quality of its surveillance sites. Today, China’s influenza network spans 554 sentinel hospitals and 409 laboratories and is one of only five WHO Collaborating Centres for Influenza Reference and Research in the world.
US CDC congratulates China and its public health professionals for making a world of difference. Collaborating with China provides US CDC unprecedented opportunities to work with the largest population in the world on public health approaches that benefit the people of China, the US and the world.