International standards : NIH to sign agreement with US health institute

Project aims at strengthening surveillance, rapid response

Our Correspondent July 20, 2015
Project aims at strengthening surveillance, rapid response.

ISLAMABAD: In order to develop a national surveillance system at par with international standards, the centre for diseases control prevention and research (CDCPR) at the National Institute of Health (NIH) is expected to sign an agreement with the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) — a US health institute.

Dr Muhammad Suleman, the focal person for International Health Regulations at NIH, told The Express Tribune that the agreement is more of a grant seeking process with the CDC. “This is not going to be a typical memorandum of understanding but a process of applying for and winning a project with the organisation,” he said.

He said the NIH had earlier applied for the grant with the CDC seeking technical support and training from the institute. “CDC is a leading health institute of the US which works on a global agenda of health security and implementation, and we want support from them,” said Suleman.

According to Ministry of Health Services, Regulations and Coordination officials, a delegation from NIH is expected to secure the project in August.

According to the project, CDCPR will aim at strengthening surveillance and laboratory research techniques. The project will also aim at working on early detection and rapid response system for disease control at the national level. Similarly, bringing the laboratories at par with international standards is also one of the goals that NIH is expected to work on through this collaboration.

The meeting comes in the wake of CDC Director Dr Tom Frieden’s visit to the federal health ministry in June this year.

During the meeting, health ministry officials had voiced their concerns that surveillance mechanism in Pakistan has remained donor dependent and fragmented.

CDC is a national public health institute of the US and its main goal is to protect public health and safety through the control and prevention of disease, injury, and disability.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 21st, 2015.



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