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Protecting Our Nation's Health in an Era of Globalization: CDC's Global Infectious Disease Strategy
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Priority Area 4: Application of Proven Public Health Tools
Child under a bednet
Bednets protect children from malaria. Nightly use of insecticide-impregnated bednets13 reduces childhood mortality by 20–30%, and use in one village protects children in neighboring villages by reducing the number of infectious mosquitos. Nevertheless, bednets are used by fewer than 10% of persons at risk, due to lack of knowledge, unavailability of bednets, and other logistical constraints.

Another major priority for CDC is to translate research innovations into practical public health tools and ensure that they are disseminated widely and rapidly for the benefit of people all over the world. Examples of public health tools that have had a major impact on global infectious disease control are antibiotics, childhood vaccines, oral rehydration therapy, and vitamin supplements.

There is often a long delay between the development of a new public health tool and its widespread implementation. A country may lack the means to buy a new medical product or it may lack a public health delivery system and trained workers to administer it. There may be low demand, because the public is not informed about a new drug or vaccine, or low political interest, because the national government is not convinced that the drug or vaccine will be cost-effective.

  Box 19
  Narrowing the Interval Between the Invention and Use of An Effective Public Health Tool

CDC can use its experience in disease surveillance to demonstrate the value of public health tools to ministries of health and finance and to the public, using pilot studies, demonstration projects, and health education campaigns (Box 19). For example, CDC will continue to work with USAID, WHO, and other partners to demonstrate that mechanisms for the prevention or control of malaria (via vector control, chemotherapy, and insecticide-treated bednets) are ready for national or regional implementation, pending the availability of resources and political commitment (see Priority Area 5). CDC can also help development agencies, NGOs, and other partners address problems related to public health training and to drug or vaccine delivery (see also Priority Area 6).

As part of the global strategy, CDC will intensify efforts to couple applied research with research on ways to promote the use of newly developed tools for disease control (“implementation research”). CDC will help identify the most effective tools and actively encourage their international use, applying expertise and resources in laboratory research, public health policy, program management, and health communications to overcome scientific, financial, and cultural barriers.

Examples of new tools with the potential for significant worldwide impact include point-of-use disinfection and safe water storage to prevent waterborne diseases; auto-disable (one-use) syringes to prevent bloodborne transmission of hepatitis B and C viruses and HIV; and diethylcarbamazine and albendazole therapy to eliminate lymphatic filariasis.

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Booklet Contents
item Contributors
item Table of Contents
item Preface
item Executive Summary
item Introduction
item International Cooperation To Combat Infectious Diseases
item U.S. Investment in Global Public Health
item Protecting the health of U.S. citizens at home and abroad
item Furthering U.S. humanitarian efforts
item Providing economic and diplomatic benefits
item Enhancing security
item CDC's Role in Promoting Global Public Health
item An evolving mission
item Vision for the Future
item Partnerships and Implementation
item Priorities and Objectives
1. International Outbreak Assistance
item Objectives
2. A Global Approach to Disease Surveillance
item Objectives
3. Applied Research on Diseases of Global Importance
item Objectives
4. Application of Proven Public Health Tools
item Objectives
5. Global Initiatives for Disease Control
item Objectives
6. Public Health Training and Capacity Building
item Objectives
item List of Boxes
item Acronyms
item Appendix A
item Appendix B
item Appendix C
item Appendix D
item Appendix E
item Acknowledgments
item References

Downloadable Adobe Acrobat Reader version of the Strategic Plan (495 KB)

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Date published: 2002

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