We control and eliminate infectious diseases and strengthen health systems.
Our program areas include neglected tropical diseases, pandemic preparedness, polio eradication, field epidemiology training, public health informatics, and health workforce development. The Task Force plays essential convening roles for its programs and helps them advocate to funders and partners. It also provides an agile and responsive administrative platform critical to ensuring programmatic success. A collaborative approach is common to all of our programs.
Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are burdens for many developing countries. These diseases cause blindness, disfigurement, cognitive impairment, stunted growth, and even death. We implement comprehensive programs to control and eliminate five NTDs – blinding trachoma, river blindness, lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis), intestinal worms, and schistosomiasis. This work is largely supported by pharmaceutical companies that provide financial support and donate billions of dollars annually of antibiotic and anti-parasitic medicines.
The world is increasing vulnerable to pandemics of influenza and other infectious diseases. The Task Force is working with low- and middle-income countries to strengthen the systems necessary to immunize their populations quickly against these diseases. The Task Force is also playing critical roles in the ‘last mile’ of polio eradication.
Our work to strengthen health systems also focuses on training frontline health workers in how to detect and respond to disease outbreaks such as Ebola and by improving the use of information to protect and promote health. We also help developing countries build human resource information systems to manage the licensing requirements of their healthcare workforce.
While much of our work is focused outside of the United States, we believe global health encompasses all countries – developing and developed alike. In the United States, we assist public health departments with building strong immunization information record systems to ensure communities are protected against vaccine-preventable diseases. Through the groundbreaking Digital Bridge initiative, we also support efforts in the United States to improve disease surveillance through better electronic data exchange.
The Task Force is working with local partners to form the Georgia Global Health Alliance, which will develop a global health economic sector in the state. The Alliance plans to apply lessons learned from global health programs to help address public health issues in the State of Georgia.