Caribbean Public Health Laboratory Surveillance Project: a Department of Defense-sponsored humanitarian mission

Mil Med. 2003 Oct;168(10):843-8.


This report describes a Department of Defense humanitarian assistance project to develop and build a regional computer-assisted laboratory-based electronic disease surveillance system in the Caribbean basin. From 1997 through 2000, the project donated 146 computer systems and trained more than 250 personnel from 14 ministries of health to operate this system. This humanitarian mission provided the region with a sustainable and locally maintained and operated surveillance system having a broad and long-term impact on public health. It has improved data gathering, analysis, and reporting at the local, national, and regional level. Benefits to the region include the dissemination through the Internet of increasingly timely and accurate information on the incidence and prevalence of endemic, epidemic, and newly emerging diseases. This serves the Caribbean residents, travelers, and U.S. national interests. The project is a model for cooperative Department of Defense capacity building and training programs in support of partner countries and international public health agencies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Altruism
  • Caribbean Region
  • Computer Communication Networks*
  • Government Programs
  • Health Surveys*
  • Internet
  • Military Personnel*
  • Public Health