Global Health Security

The USAID TB Platforms Project supports the Philippines Department of Health’s continuous provision of TB detection and treatment in health facilities (shown in a photo before the COVID-19 pandemic). Photo credit: URC

Global Health Security

For decades, URC has worked with national programs to advance efforts to combat infectious diseases, including tuberculosis (TB), HIV/AIDS, Zika, Ebola, and, most recently, COVID-19.

Working with local health care providers, community leaders, patient advocates, and government officials, we strengthen health systems by developing polices, standards, guidelines, and the capacity of facility and community health workers to detect, prevent, and respond to infectious disease. Our programs are designed to advance the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) of accelerating progress toward a world safe and secure from infectious disease threats.

URC’s work in global health security is aligned with the GHSA, which aims to:

  • Employ an interconnected global network that can respond rapidly and effectively;
  • Rapidly detect and transparently report outbreaks when they occur; and
  • Prevent and mitigate the impact of naturally occurring outbreaks and intentional or accidental releases of dangerous pathogens.

A comprehensive approach

“URC has helped build sustainable, equitable, and effective systems to support quality health service delivery. Through global health security, URC is expanding many of these hard-earned lessons and practices from the human health sector to meet the broader needs of the animal and environmental health sectors, building a comprehensive One Health capacity.”
Dr. Dennis Carroll
Senior Technical Advisor – Global Health Security

URC’s active projects are working to reduce the impact of a range of infectious diseases, including TB, HIV/AIDS, malaria, to COVID-19. URC’s experience with infectious disease outbreaks – such as Zika – have demonstrated that epidemics and pandemics require ongoing and sustained attention, from initial response to recovery.

URC-led projects quickly adapted to help countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020. In the Philippines, the USAID Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao for Health (BARMMHealth) Project partnered with the Bangsamoro Inter-Agency Task Force on COVID-19, the Ministry of Health, and private sector partners to establish COVID-19 prevention and treatment measures. BARMMHealth staff met with dozens of municipal health officers and public health nurses to share the Department of Health’s updated clinical decision tool for triaging patients with possible COVID-19 infection at local ports of entry.

A team collects samples in bat caves in northern Vietnam as part of an active monitoring for new and dangerous viruses, such as coronaviruses. Photo credit: Dennis Carroll

Before COVID-19, the USAID Systems for Health Project in Ghana helped advance infection prevention and control (IPC) by rolling out IPC training for clinical and support staff in hospitals in five regions. The project trained 20,500 health workers and conducted follow-up visits to 106 hospitals.

The World Health Organization’s 11-point Ebola readiness assessment recommends a range of actions to prevent and contain outbreaks. URC – through the USAID-funded Advancing Newborn Child and Reproductive Health (ANCRE) Project in Benin – achieved six of those goals: IPC, public awareness, case management, surveillance, contact tracing, and coordination. ANCRE trained 56 community-based organizations and nearly 2,000 community health workers on prevention, surveillance, and behavior change communication techniques, which reached more than 40,000 people across ANCRE’s 10 target health zones. ANCRE also worked with the Ministry of Health to design and implement the readiness assessment in all 10 zones, improving scores from a 50% average to 79% in a little over a year, exceeding the World Health Organization goal of 75%.