PAHO/WHO Collaborating Centre Spotlight Series
Reference Number: USA-149*
Official Title: PAHO/WHO CC for Reference & Research on Viral Hepatitis
Institution: Division of Viral Hepatitis, National Center for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Reference Number: USA-438
Official Title: PAHO/WHO CC for Sexually Transmitted Infections Prevention
Institution: Laboratory Reference and Research Branch, Division of Sexually Transmitted Disease Prevention, National Center for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Category 1 (SP 14-19)
Outcome 12 (SP 20-25)
Dr. Massimo Ghidinelli, Unit Chief, HIV, Hepatitis, TB and STIs, is the PAHO staff member who supports the WHO focal point to coordinate the collaboration between the institution and the Organization.
The main activities of these Centres include: (1) participating in joint missions to Member States; (2) providing technical advice; and (3) participating in consultations and meetings.
The Centre at the Division of Viral Hepatitis, CDC, during 2018-2019, worked with PAHO staff and Ministry of Health staff in several member countries to develop profiles of viral hepatitis disease burden and country investment cases. In addition, staff from the Centre visited El Salvador and Peru in 2019 to update and review diagnostic algorithms for hepatitis B. The Centre also participated in a PAHO consultation in the Caribbean in March–April 2019. Lastly, the Centre provided technical assistance for the WHO viral hepatitis guidelines and policies, the WHO Global Hepatitis strategy and to WHO member states to develop national action plans for viral hepatitis prevention and control.
The Centre at the Laboratory Reference and Research Branch, CDC, invited PAHO to participate in an update of the USA STI guidelines and a STI conference held in Washington, DC. PAHO has also invited the Centre to participate in meetings related to hepatitis with the disease task force group. The Centre has also provided technical assistance to WHO on the Elimination of mother-to-child transmission (EMTCT) of HIV and syphilis and to the Americas Region Validation Committee and Global Validation Advisory Committee for mother-to-child transmission. The Centre has also provided technical assistance to several countries focused on enhancing gonococcal antimicrobial resistance (AMR) surveillance programmes by linking epidemiologic and laboratory data on gonococcal AMR and developing and promoting standardized protocols for data sharing and alerts. Lastly, the Centre has provided technical assistance to support national/regional reference labs in external quality assurance of syphilis testing and publishing the experiences of syphilis proficiency testing and its contribution to EMTCT.
Webnotes such as these serve to inform on how CCs are contributing to the Organization’s priorities and mandates.