Communicable diseases include a wide range of lethal and debilitating illnesses that threaten the people of the Americas. Anti-microbial resistance, cholera, meningitis, neglected tropical diseases, and others devastate individuals and families. They demand coordinated, robust surveillance and response efforts from both public- and private-sector stakeholders. New technologies allow for rapid collection of data and faster response.
UfHI works proactively with our partners to understand, prevent, control, and eliminate these diseases. Through efforts like our anti-microbial resistance initiative and Zika survey, we are building an evidence-based framework for health systems to mitigate public health threats. Our cholera and meningitis programs strengthen countries’ healthcare capacity, providing access and testing new technology to enhance their ability to respond and prevent future events.
Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR) Control Initiative
UfHI participated in a 2016 United Nations (UN) High-Level meeting that led the UN General Assembly to approve the Declaration on Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR) – a global call to action on this growing health challenge.
Even before the UN Declaration, UfHI was answering this call. We believe that effective AMR control requires powerful AMR research. To achieve this, we produced a meta-analysis of AMR in the Americas, based on a survey of available research and site visits to Mexico, Peru, Colombia, and Trinidad. The meta-analysis mapped key challenges in AMR control and led to our partnership with the International Standards Organization (ISO) to address AMR in clinical settings.
Cholera Control and Elimination in Haiti
UfHI contributes to the bold goal of controlling and eliminating cholera in Haiti by 2020. With partnership from the University of Massachusetts and funding from Coca-Cola, this unique cross-sector effort is working with the Haitian Ministry of Health, regional stakeholders, and local communities to prevent cholera. This follows a cholera outbreak that has affected nearly 700,000 Haitians since the 2010 earthquake.
The effort strengthens surveillance capacity, emergency planning, and responses to gaps in water access and sanitation. Ultimately, UfHI aims to engage private-sector partners to identify long-term, sustainable solutions that can eliminate cholera in Haiti by the 2020 milestone.
Research on Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) and Zika
In response to the growing threat of Zika, UfHI developed and conducted a first-of-its-kind survey to identify gaps in services and communications related to Zika and other neglected tropical diseases (NTDs).
The infographic(s) provide a research baseline for relevant stakeholders to strengthen vector control. These tools can guide informed responses to Zika and NTDs, as well as future UfHI efforts to fight these diseases.