Spotlight Series: International Health Regulations and Traveler’s Health

PAHO/WHO Collaborating Centre Spotlight Series 

Reference Number: USA-359

Official Title: PAHO/WHO CC for Implementation of IHR Core Capacities
Institution: Programs and Partners Team, Global Health Security Branch, Division of Global Health Protection, Center for Global Health Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Reference Number: USA-387*

Official Title: PAHO/WHO CC for Travelers’ Health
Institution: Travelers’ Health Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)


Category 5 (SP 14-19)

Outcome 23 (SP 20-25)

Dr. Andraghetti

Dr. Roberta Andraghetti is the PAHO staff member who acts as the Region’s focal point and also has a supporting role to the WHO focal point to coordinate the collaboration between the institution and the Organization.

The main activities of these Centres include: (1) assisting with building and sustaining national core capacities to prevent, detect, and respond to public health risks; (2) assisting with implementing components of the International Health Regulations’ (IHR) Monitoring and Evaluation Framework (MEF); (3) assisting with building border public health surveillance and response capacities; and (4) strengthening global event-based surveillance capacity.

The Centre at the Global Health Security Branch assists WHO with building and sustaining national core capacities to prevent, detect, and respond to public health risks. For example, the Centre has: provided technical assistance and lab testing equipment in Egypt, India, and Kenya; conducted a ‘Surveillance and Health Information Systems Technical Workshop; provided technical assistance to support electronic reporting systems in Burkina Faso and Vietnam; and implemented an electronic Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response (IDSR) pilot in Uganda.

The Centre has provided technical assistance in Namibia for the development of Emergency Operations Centers and to the Instituto Nacional Salud (INS) in Colombia on data analysis and lab techniques and provided technical expertise to WHO on the second edition of the Joint External Evaluation (JEE) tool. The Centre also developed a rapid costing tool in coordination with WHO, called the Priority Action Costing Tool (PACT), that allows countries to estimate the cost of implementing the priority actions recommended in the JEE.

The Centre collaborates with global partners on training programs including the Global Laboratory Leadership Programme (GLLP)Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP)Improving Public Health Management for Action (IMPACT) fellowship program,  Public Health Emergency Management Fellowship (PHEMF) program, and the Influenza Laboratory Mentorship Program to build capacities for public health professionals. The Centre also hosts the Global Disease Detection Operations Center (GDDOC), with the objective to strengthen event-based surveillance (EBS) capacity by participating in working groups with WHO to revise EBS guiding documents; preparing instructional training manuals for countries to implement EBS; and providing technical assistance by deploying staff to WHO to support EBS operations.

The Centre at the Traveler’s Health Branch, CDC, provides training for the GeoSentinel surveillance system and also works with the International Society of Travel Medicine (ISTM) and GeoSentinel sites to increase surveillance, improve data quality, and explore techniques to improve travel-related surveillance. The Centre also maintains a reference library for yellow fever, assists with mapping yellow fever risk, and supports WHO in their efforts to monitor, update, and disseminate country specific vaccine requirements. The Centre also led a travel health education campaign called Viajo sin Zika for Latino travelers in New York, Los Angeles and Orlando visiting Latin America and the Caribbean. Lastly, the Centre collaborated with WHO to incorporate the most recent international travel and health changes in the online Yellow Book.

Webnotes such as these serve to inform how Collaborating Centres are contributing to the Organization’s priorities and mandates.

*CC Expired.