28 January 2010

Obama Mentions Public Health Surveillance in his State of the Union Address

In his State of the Union address last night, President Obama included public health surveillance in his administration's agenda when he said, "we are launching a new initiative that will give us the capacity to respond faster and more efficiently to bioterrorism or an infectious disease - a plan that will counter threats at home and strengthen public health abroad." Thank you, Mr. Obama, for acknowledging the significance of the work done by the ISDS and many other public health institutions!

Previously, Obama's plan for national security was outlined by US Secretary of State Ellen Taucher at the Biological Weapons Convention in Geneva, Switzerland this past December. In her "Address to the Annual Meeting of the States Parties to the Biological Weapons Convention," one of the priorities highlighted was the plan to strengthen global disease surveillance.

Taucher mentioned that natural disease surveillance is a critical component of bio-security. In addition, as a part of the CDC's new collaboration with the WHO on implementing IHRs, a meeting will occur during the summer to "[look] at new technologies and new approaches to build the core capacities on disease surveillance needed under the IHRs."

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