Regional Director on 2-day visit to CDC
Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe visited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States of America on 24–25 April 2018. At CDC headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, she met Dr Robert Redfield, who became Director of CDC in March. The visit provided an opportunity to discuss mutual areas of interest, including immunization, antimicrobial resistance, influenza, noncommunicable diseases, and each organization’s work in countries of central Asia and the Commonwealth of Independent States. Dr Jakab also toured the Emergency Operations Center.
Dr Jakab addressed staff at CDC’s Center for Global Health, delivering a presentation on health and sustainable development in the WHO European Region. The presentation made the case for investing in health as a fundamental right, based around the values of equity, fairness, universality and solidarity. Describing progress in health across the European Region, such as a 2–3% annual average decline in premature mortality, and vaccination coverage for measles and rubella of 94%, Dr Jakab also cautioned that progress is uneven, and substantial health inequalities persist within and across countries in the Region. For example, the range in healthy years of life across countries of the Region ranges from 60 to 73 years.
To address these issues and make further progress in achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Dr Jakab described WHO/Europe’s work with partners, across networks, and its focus on progress towards universal health coverage and strengthening health systems, its emergency programme, and commitment to tackling communicable diseases such as tuberculosis and HIV and the noncommunicable disease burden.
CDC is the United States’ health protection agency, and part of the Department of Health and Human Services. It undertakes research and provides health information to protect the country from health threats. As part of this work, it also detects and responds to health threats and diseases around the world.