U.S. Agency for International Development
Emerging Pandemic Threats
The Emerging Pandemic Threats (EPT) program strengthens capacities in developing countries to prevent, detect, and control infectious diseases in animals and people with an emphasis on early identification of, and response to, dangerous pathogens from animals before they can become significant threats to human health.
Nearly 75 percent of all new, emerging, or re-emerging diseases affecting humans at the beginning of the 21st century are zoonotic (i.e. originated in animals). Notable reminders of how vulnerable the increasingly interconnected world is to the global impact of new emergent diseases include HIV/AIDS, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), the H5N1 strain of avian influenza, and the 2009 pandemic H1N1 influenza virus. The speed with which these diseases can emerge and spread presents serious public health, economic, and development concerns. It also underscores the need for the development of comprehensive disease detection and response capacities, particularly in “hot spot” areas such as central Africa, South and Southeast Asia, and Latin America where a confluence of risk factors may contribute to disease emergence. ...
“...RESPOND project: implementing partners are Development Alternatives Inc., Tufts University, University of Minnesota, Ecology and Environment, and Training Resources Group.
RESPOND focuses on pre-service workforce training and strengthening outbreak response capacity. Specific activities include: networking 34 schools of public health, veterinary medicine, and environment in both Africa and Southeast Asia to promote a “One Health” approach among future graduates; developing an outbreak response algorithm for health events where the cause has not yet been identified; and supporting outbreak response when requested....”