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Journal of the Academy of Hospital Administration

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Author(s): Rajiv Kumar Jain*

Vol. 13, No. 1 (2001-01 - 2001-06)

http://www.cdc.gov/

The internet website of the centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta, USA CDC, Atlanta is one of the major operating components of the Department of Health and Human Services of the United States of America. CDC is recognized as the lead federal agency for protecting the health and safety of people - at home and abroad, providing credible information to enhance health decisions, and promoting health through strong partnerships CDC is comprised of 11 organizational components, as follows:

  1. National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD)
  2. National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP)
  3. National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH)
  4. National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS)
  5. National Center for HIV, STD and TB Prevention (NCHSTP)
  6. National Center for Infectious Diseases (NCID)
  7. National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC)
  8. National Immunization Program (NIP)
  9. National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
  10. Epidemiology Program Office (EPO)
  11. Public Health Practice Program Office (PHPPO)

The website is simple, comprehensive, user friendly, very well organized and regularly updated. The home page provides links to: CDC's organization, facilities, people, budget and mission, calender of events, current topics, and recent reports and publications; information about grant and cooperative agreement funding opportunities; fact sheets; disease prevention and health information from A to Z; press releases and current health news; publications, software and products, and subscriptions to CDC publications; employment, training and educational opportunities; and alerts about disease outbreaks. In addition, direct link is also provided for the CDC Fact Book 2000/2001; CDC Foundation, CDC Prevention Guidelines, Emerging Infectious Diseases (EID) Journal, Hoaxes and Rumors, and the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). Most of the information is these pages is available free. Only a few information sources require a login password and id.

The page on Travelers' Health provides health information on specific destinations, CDC Book 'Health Information for International Travel' (the "Yellow Book"), the "Blue Sheet; information on outbreaks of concern, information on what to do when traveling with children, information for travelers with special needs such as disabilities, pregnancy and breast feeding and HIV, diseases, vaccinations, safe food and water and cruise ships and air travel.

The webpage on Health Topics A to Z has classified diseases in two ways: One by disease name and second by category of disease classification viz., Adolescents & teens, Environmental Health, Food borne Illnesses, Infants and Children, Injuries, Men's Health, Occupational Health, Senior Health, Travelers' Health, Women's Health. New topics are added on an ongoing basis.

The webpage on data and statistics provides all the information that an health and hospital administrator may require relating to scientific data, surveillance, health statistics, Laboratory Information and Information Resources Management.

The webpage on Training and Employment opportunities shall be most useful to those who seek information for mid career training as well as those who seek to attain specific skills to improve those who seek to attain specific skills to improve their performance in organizations. Examples are : Post doctoral Research Associates Program in Infections Diseases and Public Health Microbiology, Public Health Fellowship Program, Visiting Scholars in Residence Training Program, Graduate. Certificate Training Program (GCTP) for Public Health Advisors, Post Doctoral Fellowship in Prevention Effectiveness Methods, Preventive Medicine Residency Program, Public Health Informatics Fellowship Program.

The current issue (May-June 2001) of the Journal of Emerging Infectious Diseases- A peer reviewed journal which tracks and analyzes disease trends is also available free (http;//www.cdc.gov/ncidod/eid/)

The webpage on current Health Related Hoaxes and Rumors provides authentic scientific data related to hoaxes and rumours reported in the press and media. For example, data is available on false reports relating to (a) Underarm antiperspirants causing breast cancer, (b) HIV transmission by contact with unused feminine (sanitary) pads, (c) tempons and abbestos, Dioxin. Valid information is also available on false health related information on the internet, for example, E-mail report on klingerman Virus, Internet report on bananas, and Needle stick hoaxes.

The webpage of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) is one of the most useful tools to keep updated on disease trends in the world. The June 15, 2001 issue carries a report on progress toward poliomyelitis eradication in West and Central Africa. The June 1,2001 issue carries a report on "Norwalk-Like Viruses": Public Health Consequences and Outbreak Management.

The website has a search engine facility to enable users to gain quick access to the specific information required. In addition, direct communication through e-mail is also facilitated. One can also give feedback, suggestions and ideas on further improving the website to make it more user friendly.

Any health and hospital administrator in the world cannot do without visiting some page of the website at least once a fortnight if he/she really wants to update his knowledge about disease control and prevention. The site has the most credible, valid, relevant and updated information about any disease and also about methods and means to control and prevent in one single platform. It is a challenge to the policy makers, planners and programme managers in the health sector in India to develop similar tools for disease control and prevention and apply the same to improve the quality of life in India. Integration of such tools should be a vision shared by all health administrators in the world.

* Deputy Chief Medical Director, Indian Railways Medical Service for correspondence : 480, Sector 37, Faridabad - 121003 E-mail: [email protected]; [email protected]

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