Integrated Disease Investigations and Surveillance planning: a systems approach to strengthening national surveillance and detection of events of public health importance in support of the International Health Regulations

Taboy, Celine H.; Chapman, Will; Albetkova, Adilya; Kennedy, Sarah; Rayfield, Mark A.
January 2010
BMC Public Health;Jan2010 Supplement 1, Vol. 10, p1
Academic Journal
The international community continues to define common strategic themes of actions to improve global partnership and international collaborations in order to protect our populations. The International Health Regulations (IHR[2005]) offer one of these strategic themes whereby World Health Organization (WHO) Member States and global partners engaged in biosecurity, biosurveillance and public health can define commonalities and leverage their respective missions and resources to optimize interventions. The U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency's Cooperative Biological Engagement Program (CBEP) works with partner countries across clinical, veterinary, epidemiological, and laboratory communities to enhance national disease surveillance, detection, diagnostic, and reporting capabilities. CBEP, like many other capacity building programs, has wrestled with ways to improve partner country buy-in and ownership and to develop sustainable solutions that impact integrated disease surveillance outcomes. Designing successful implementation strategies represents a complex and challenging exercise and requires robust and transparent collaboration at the country level. To address this challenge, the Laboratory Systems Development Branch of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and CBEP have partnered to create a set of tools that brings together key leadership of the surveillance system into a deliberate system design process. This process takes into account strengths and limitations of the existing system, how the components inter-connect and relate to one another, and how they can be systematically refined within the local context. The planning tools encourage cross-disciplinary thinking, critical evaluation and analysis of existing capabilities, and discussions across organizational and departmental lines toward a shared course of action and purpose. The underlying concepts and methodology of these tools are presented here.


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