U.S. Launches New Global Health Security Agenda to Prevent Infectious Disease Epidemics

Washington, D.C., U.S. – The U. S. launched a new global initiative to strengthen international collaboration and the capacity of developing countries to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease threats. The Global Health Security agenda is an effort between the U.S. government, other nations, international organizations and public and private stakeholders, to accelerate progress toward a world safe and secure from infectious disease threats and to promote global health security as an international security priority.

“Global health security is a shared responsibility; no one country can achieve it alone,” U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said.

Vietnam has committed to the Global Health Security agenda at the U.S.-led Global Health Security summit in Washington D.C. this month and was joined by 25 other countries and international organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

“In the past 5 years, the Vietnam health sector has made remarkable achievements in infectious disease control and prevention,” said Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Kim Tien. “With support from international partners including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S. CDC), Vietnam has successfully controlled infectious diseases such as avian and pandemic influenza and SARS. However, we are facing several challenges, including the high risk of cross-border transmission of new and re-emerging infectious diseases, such as influenza, dengue, hand-foot and mouth disease, measles, viral encephalitis, and rabies.”

Over the next five years, the U.S. plans to work with at least 30 partner countries (containing at least 4 billion people) to prevent, detect, and effectively respond to infectious disease threats.

Later this year, the U.S. White House will host an event bringing together nations who are committed to protecting the world from infectious disease threats to review progress and chart the way forward on building a global system for preventing, detecting, and responding to such threats.

“The U. S. and the world can and must do more to prevent, detect, and respond to outbreaks as early and as effectively as possible,” U.S. CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said.  “U.S. CDC conducted a global health security demonstration project last year in partnership with Vietnam to strengthen laboratory systems, develop a strong public health emergency operations center, and create real-time data sharing in health emergencies.”

In addition, President Barack Obama requested an increase of $45 million in 2015 for U.S. CDC to begin implementation and accelerate successful efforts for global health security with up to ten partner countries, including training of field epidemiologists, developing new diagnostic tests, building capacities to detect new pathogens, building public health emergency management capacity, and supporting outbreak responses.

For more information on U.S. CDC’s global health security work, visit U.S. CDC’s Global Health Security website and the Global Health Security Agenda website.

Click here for photos of the launch in Washington D.C. and U.S. CDC’s digital press kit, which includes factsheets, images, and quotes from experts on global health security.