Rapidly building global health security capacity--Uganda demonstration project, 2013

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2014 Jan 31;63(4):73-6.


Increasingly, the need to strengthen global capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to public health threats around the globe is being recognized. CDC, in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO), has committed to building capacity by assisting member states with strengthening their national capacity for integrated disease surveillance and response as required by International Health Regulations (IHR). CDC and other U.S. agencies have reinforced their pledge through creation of global health security (GHS) demonstration projects. One such project was conducted during March-September 2013, when the Uganda Ministry of Health (MoH) and CDC implemented upgrades in three areas: 1) strengthening the public health laboratory system by increasing the capacity of diagnostic and specimen referral networks, 2) enhancing the existing communications and information systems for outbreak response, and 3) developing a public health emergency operations center (EOC) (Figure 1). The GHS demonstration project outcomes included development of an outbreak response module that allowed reporting of suspected cases of illness caused by priority pathogens via short messaging service (SMS; i.e., text messaging) to the Uganda District Health Information System (DHIS-2) and expansion of the biologic specimen transport and laboratory reporting system supported by the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Other enhancements included strengthening laboratory management, establishing and equipping the EOC, and evaluating these enhancements during an outbreak exercise. In 6 months, the project demonstrated that targeted enhancements resulted in substantial improvements to the ability of Uganda's public health system to detect and respond to health threats.

MeSH terms

  • Capacity Building / organization & administration*
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S.
  • Disease Outbreaks / prevention & control*
  • Global Health*
  • Humans
  • International Cooperation*
  • Population Surveillance*
  • Uganda
  • United States
  • World Health Organization