Area 4: Application of Proven Public Health Tools
protect children from malaria. Nightly use of insecticide-impregnated
bednets13 reduces childhood
mortality by 2030%, 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.
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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