Strengthening Public Health Laboratories Internationally

The U. S. Government’s (USG) Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) was established as a framework for implementing the core capacities of the International Health Regulations (2005).

Specifically, core capacity 8 focuses on laboratory development and includes the following components:

and coordination of laboratory services; laboratory diagnostic and confirmation capacity; laboratory biosafety and biosecurity; and, laboratory based surveillance ; 3. 2_eng.pdf;jsess ionid=9F3B8C843E818A183D7053426CC0C54F?sequence=1).

To help countries reach the goals of the GHSA and IHR, CDC’s Global Disease Detection (GDD) and GHS laboratory initiatives have supported international capacity building programs to strengthen national public health laboratory (NPHL) systems. The overarching goal of these initiatives is to support national tiered laboratory services that meet international standards of best practices and are capable of accurately detecting and characterizing pathogens of high impact and concern in support of evidence-based public health decision-making.

A well-functioning NPHL system, prepared to respond to global health security threats, is dependent on and supported by a network of laboratories (both public and private, including clinical, public health, veterinary, food safety, and environmental laboratories), that serve public health functions and are fully integrated with the overall national health care and surveillance systems.

Together, these systems should be inter-connected through shared information, communication and referral linkages to contribute to conducting the full range of quality controlled laboratory services necessary to detect, differentiate, report, and characterize new threat events in any part of the country in a safety-minded and secured environment.

Tiered services within a public health system provide for distributed functions in a decentralized health care environment and enhance a unified vision of the public health laboratory service in both the public and private sectors while strengthening linkages to clinical services.

The aim of the functional integration of these networks is to provide strategic advice and share expertise to strengthen national capacity for laboratory supported disease surveillance.

Integral to this is the provision of informative data in a timely manner to governmental authorities that permit informed and rapid response to epidemic prone diseases.

To date, the world has made great progress in strengthening local, regional, and international capacity for addressing emerging infectious disease threats.

Ongoing vulnerabilities include geographic areas with limited disease surveillance systems, institutional and logistic barriers to adequate delivery of services and interventions, reluctance to share outbreak information or biological samples, emergence of new pathogens and development of drug-resistance, limited border public health security measures, and intentional or accidental release of biological agents.

These vulnerabilities illustrate the critical need to improve prevention, detection, and response efforts for infectious disease outbreaks, PHEICs, and other health threats.
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services

Office: Centers for Disease Control - CGH

Estimated Funding: $2,000,000

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