CDC Global Health

FY2018 Funding Recommendation:  
$1.26 billion


Funding History


       House/Senate FY2017 Request   

       InterAction's FY2018 Recommendation

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 Key Facts

  • CDC is the key partner in the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) and President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) programs, helping implement programs on the ground and access the efficacy of current health interventions.

  • CDC leads the TB Trials Consortium, which includes a global network of tuberculosis clinical trial sites in over eight countries.

  • CDC is a founding partner of the Measles & Rubella Initiative and provides technical assistance for epidemiological and laboratory surveillance, which is essential for tracking measles and rubella.

  • In addition to tracking and reporting diseases globally, CDC funds critical product development projects for new health technologies. In 2016, CDC’s NCEZID developed innovative technologies to provide a rapid diagnostic test for the Ebola virus, a new vaccine to improve rabies control, a new and more accurate diagnostic test for the dengue virus, and new tools and drugs to combat antibiotic resistance.

As one of the world’s premier public health agencies with nearly 70 years of experience, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) works with foreign ministries of health, international organizations, and other partners to strengthen health capacity globally, increase health security, and support evidence-based global health programs.

The CDC’s global health programs make critical contributions to global issues while also protecting the health of Americans. CDC tracks diseases worldwide, provides public health leadership, helps ministries of health strengthen their research and laboratory infrastructure, trains new health professionals, and conducts research to develop new technologies to combat diseases. This work capitalizes on CDC’s technical expertise to improve the ability of partner countries to lead in the future while also addressing global health challenges that could threaten the American people.

Center for Global Health: $683 million

The CDC Center for Global Health (CDC CGH) works alongside foreign ministries of health to prevent the spread of disease worldwide. For instance, the Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria plays a key role in eliminating the global burden of malaria and neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) by improving detection and diagnosis capabilities and advancing research for new interventions. CDC CGH is also a key partner in PEPFAR (the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) in over 75 countries, providing technical assistance on scaling up HIV treatment and preventing mother-to-child transmission.

CDC is also a leader in global immunization and disease eradication efforts. Between 1988 and 2010, CDC programs helped reduce new polio cases globally by 99%. The CDC-initiated global campaign to eradicate Guinea worm disease (GWD) has had a major impact, taking GWD from 3.5 million cases per year in 1986 to near eradication today. Through the Measles & Rubella Initiative, of which CDC is a founding partner, measles deaths have decreased by 79%, and 17.1 million deaths were averted from 2000-2014. CDC CGH also provided crucial surveillance and epidemiologic analysis in the African meningitis belt before and after the introduction of the breakthrough MenAfriVac® meningitis A vaccine.

CDC also leads US government efforts in global health security, making critical contributions to global ability to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease threats. Not only does this work help to save lives around the world by detecting and containing epidemics where they happen, but it also protects American health and security by preventing the spread of diseases to our shores. This vital works happens through CDC’s implementation of the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA)— a whole-of-government initiative that works to build capacity in 30 low- and middle-income countries to detect global health risks rapidly, prevent them when possible, and respond effectively when they occur—and through longstanding CDC global health security programs. One example of this activity is through CDC’s Field Epidemiology Training Program (FELP), through which CDC CGH has trained over 31,000 epidemiologists in 72 countries on how to detect and rapidly respond to infectious disease outbreaks. The expertise of CDC-trained epidemiologists greatly contributed to Nigeria’s ability to contain Ebola during the outbreak there in 2014.

Finally, CDC’s backing in science provides leadership to support evidence-based global health programs. From reducing child morbidity from cholera through water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) interventions to reducing maternal and perinatal mortality through micronutrient fortification initiatives, CDC leverages its technical expertise and research capabilities to prevent and treat debilitating health conditions around the world.

Center for Emerging Zoonotic and Infectious Diseases: $577.485 million

The CDC’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic and Infectious Diseases (NCEZID) also plays a strong role in US global health efforts. Ongoing research and development at NCEZID helps to better understand emerging pathogens—including those than can be transmitted from animals to humans—to develop next-generation solutions to longstanding and future health challenges. Critical work includes new rapid diagnostic tests for plague and rabies.

NCEZID continuously investigates and responds to disease outbreaks, such as the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. It also coordinates the implementation of the National Strategy for Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria focused on preventing, detecting, and controlling outbreaks of antibiotic resistant pathogens such as drug resistant tuberculosis.

InterAction’s combined FY2018 funding recommendation for the CDC CGH and NCEZID’s global health efforts is $1.26 billion. This will help to bolster programs that advance global health security efforts, further global health breakthroughs and apply technical expertise to global health programming. Specifically, within CDC CGH, we are supporting a 10 percent increase to overall funding, coupled with needs-based, dedicated funding to support work on drug-resistant tuberculosis and Global Health Security Agenda programming. This reflects the reality of CDC’s global health responsibilities—including leading the US response to the Global Health Security Agenda, only funded through the Ebola supplemental—and puts the Center on the path to match vital operations with sufficient levels of annually appropriated funding. Core funding should support Global HIV/AIDS, Global Immunization, Parasitic Diseases and Malaria, Global Disease Detection and Emergency Response, and Global Public Health Capacity Development programs—which have distinct and important missions—in addition to support for Global TB and GHSA.

It should be noted that this request does not include the domestic funding requested for the Prevention and Public Health Fund within NCEZID.

Success Story

Vaccinated for Life: Fighting Measles in Benin

Every day, 315 people, mostly children under the age of five, die from measles. But thanks to a vaccination from the Measles & Rubella Initiative, Ileze will not be one of them.

Ileze and his mother, Josephine, live in Benin, a West African nation with geography ranging from large sacred forests to sandy, coastal plains. In November 2014, the family was visited by a Benin Red Cross volunteer, Francoise, who informed them about the vaccination campaign taking place in their city of Cotonou. Josephine agreed to take Ileze to get vaccinated, so Francoise returned the next day to escort them to a nearby vaccination booth. Ileze received a tiny prick – and probably traded in some tears – but he is now vaccinated for life. 

Some 1,000 Benin Red Cross volunteers went door-to-door in three cities to encourage mothers and fathers to vaccinate their children. In all, more than 3 million children in Benin were vaccinated as part of the campaign.

The Measles & Rubella Initiative is one of the world’s most successful partnerships in global health, helping to control the spread of measles and preventing 17.1 million child deaths since 2000.  The Initiative is led by the American Red Cross, United Nations Foundation, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), UNICEF, and the World Health Organization. Each organization has a unique role, with, for example, the Red Cross mobilizing volunteers and the CDC providing technical guidance and laboratory support to ministries of health around the world on disease surveillance, a process used to identify rapidly where the disease is occurring.

The American Red Cross and its partners have helped to vaccinate 2 billion children in more than 80 developing countries.  In many countries, one vaccine is used to protect children against both measles and rubella.  The cost to vaccinate a child against both diseases in low-income countries is less than $2, making the vaccinations one of the most cost effective global health interventions.

Photo: American Red Cross/Javier Acebal


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