One key strategy for preventing the spread of infectious disease is preventing it from reaching the United States. HHS will collaborate with the World Health Organization (WHO) and other international partners to provide epidemiologic and laboratory support to assist countries in addressing disease threats through improved disease detection. HHS also will provide programmatic expertise, training, and funding support to assist with surveillance, control, elimination, and eradication activities for diseases such as measles, polio, avian influenza, and HIV/AIDS, as well as the provision of technical assistance with safe and healthy water and improved sanitation.
Immunization has revolutionized child health in countries throughout the world. WHO estimates that almost 40 percent of child deaths for children younger than 5 years of age are potentially preventable by vaccines.xxi HHS has been a major supporter of global initiatives to eradicate polio; control measles; and introduce new vaccines for pneumoccocal diseases, rotavirus, and possibly in the near future, malaria and even HIV. HHS remains committed to achieving global polio eradication and meeting the global target to achieve a 90 percent reduction in measles mortality by 2010 as compared to 2000. Efforts to combat vaccine- preventable diseases overseas not only assist global efforts at lowering child mortality, but also help to protect U.S. children from susceptibility to these debilitating diseases.
One specific set of activities that HHS will continue in support of its global health strategy is in the area of malaria prevention. CDC supports prevention and control of malaria throughout the world in partnership with local, State, and Federal agencies in the United States; medical and public health professionals; national and international organizations; and foreign governments. Specific strategies include conducting malaria surveillance, prevention, and control activities in the United States; providing consultation, technical assistance, and training to malaria-endemic countries to change and implement proven policies to decrease malaria burden; conducting multidisciplinary research in the laboratory and in the field, to develop new tools and improve existing interventions against malaria worldwide; and translating research findings into appropriate global policies and effective practices through the Roll Back Malaria Partnership and other international partners.
HHS will continue to work with other Federal partners to control malaria through participation in the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), an intergovernmental initiative led by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), CDC, NIH, the U.S. Departments of State and Defense, and the National Security Council. The goal of PMI is to reduce malaria deaths by half in each target country after 3 years of full implementation. The initiative helps national governments deliver proven, effective interventions—insecticide-treated bed nets, indoor residual spraying, prompt and effective treatment with artemisinin-based combination therapies, and intermittent preventive treatment to people at greatest risk, pregnant women and children younger than 5 years old. As of June 2007, work is ongoing in the first three PMI countries (Angola, Tanzania, and Uganda) as well as the four added in 2006 (Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, and Senegal). Later in 2007, activities will begin in the final eight countries (Benin, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, and Zambia), which will bring the program to its full complement of 15 countries with a high burden of malaria in Africa.
Additional information about HHS’s efforts in global health can be found later in this chapter in In the Spotlight: Global Health Initiatives.
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