Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The CDC, as the Centers for Disease Control and Protection is popularly known, is a national agency tasked with the activities of conducting and supporting health promotion, preparedness and prevention in the United States. The organization’s goals revolve around the improvement of the overall public health of the US citizens both within the country and ion foreign countries. Its mandate derives from the management of the Department of Health and Human Services and is based in Atlanta having been established in 1946. Initially, it was meant to replace the program for World War II Malaria Control in War Areas (Kelley, 2015). However, years of advancement have broadened its mandate to include wide areas of public health such as occupational health and safety as well as environmental health among others. Indeed, the CDC now works with local, state and national partners in monitoring disease outbreaks and maintenance of national health statistics.

In addition to efforts at ensuring good public health, CDC’s role is more diverse and includes the prevention and control of chronic and infectious diseases. In pursuing its goals, the organization focuses on five strategic areas including reforming health policies and reducing the leading causes of death. Other strategic areas include strengthening of epidemiology and surveillance, improving global health and increasing support to other health departments at the state and local levels. Part of the organization’s involvement is evidenced in the global fight against Ebola and most recently the zika virus. In addition to these efforts, the organization is also involved in the education of the public on general prevention measures against common diseases. The continued engagement in research has added to the literature available in the health sectors and has continued to benefit the world indiscriminately. However, the organization is not short of criticism over some of its programs including the use of bio-weapons in the Iraqi war.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a mission “to protect America from health, safety and security threats, both foreign and in the United States.” As thus, it is supposed to save lives while conducting critical scientific research for responding to threats as they arise. Metaphorically, therefore, the CDC acts as the health pulse of the nation in terms of its role in safeguarding the health interests of American citizens. The organization works round the clock in protecting America from all threats of health, safety and security across the world. Regardless of the origin of diseases, either from home or abroad, the organization aims to fight diseases by supporting citizens and communities to do the same. In addition, CDC fights chronic and acute diseases, curable and preventable ailments as well as deliberate attacks on human populations (Kelley, 2015). In the course of its operations, CDC maintains and improves the health security of the nation by saving lives and protecting people from health related threats. In order to attain their mission, they engage in critical scientific research that provides critical health information to the people. In so doing, CDC can protect the country against dangerous and expensive health threats while responding to the issues as, and when, they arise.

The organization is quite diverse as evidenced by the scale of its operations. Currently, the organization has more than 15000 employees with different titles based on their expertise ranging from epidemiologists, engineers and computer scientists. In similar fashion, the organization has a variety of focus areas including health policy reformulation and strengthening surveillance and epidemiology among other disciplines. All these areas are catered for by the many departments in the organization and high volume of funds at its disposal. In fact, the organization works with smaller organizations by providing grants for the prevention and control of diseases within the organizations’ jurisdictions. Ultimately, the different roles of the organization are effectively achieved through collaboration with other like-minded organizations in the public health sector. Although all these focus areas are important, the area of health policy formulation is particularly striking for its impact on the general public.

The improvement in global health is critical in the achievement of the organization’s mission and goals in both the short and long term periods. It is only through solution provision that the government can increase the focus on emerging problems in the public health sector thus helping in the reduction of health threats in America. The mission of the organization is to protect America from health, safety and security threats. Indeed, policy formulation is most effective in dealing with the identified threats because of their interrelatedness. For instance, security threats are related to the advent of health threats because people fight for the remaining resources. Highly communicable diseases are most prone to security and safety threats as the people fight off the infected people thus resulting in regular conflicts. By consolidating the threats under one discipline and choosing to deal with the same through prevention and treatment, CDC guarantees a partial attainment of its mission and objectives (Pate et al, 1995). Ultimately, improvement in global health is a critical step in the elimination of health, safety and security threats as identified in CDC’s mission.

The organization’s efforts in preventing the acquisition of diseases include education of the general public. These efforts are focused on teaching the people how to identify and avoid the contraction of infectious diseases such as the strep throat, malaria and the flu. The beauty of the organization’s work is in the fact that the efforts to reduce health threats are not limited to the United States. Rather, CDC is regularly engaged in the fight against diseases affecting world populations as has been witnessed in the fight against Ebola. The organization was actively involved through education, research and provision of personnel to study the cases of Ebola. The efforts of the organization are thus not only beneficial to individuals but also to entire communities. Ideally, the organization’s involvement in the prevention of disease outbreaks not only safeguards individuals against disease attacks but cushions communities against the breakout of highly transmitted diseases. In the selfless activities that the organization undertakes, world populations benefit through reduced threats of health and safety attacks. Ultimately, everyone stands to benefit from the continued involvement of CDC in the prevention, control and treatment of emerging health conditions across the world.

The organization is at the forefront in monitoring of outbreaks related to chronic health conditions such as Ebola. In these assignments, CDC continually provides updates on the different ways in which symptoms can be identified and combated even before the onset of the real disease (Ogden et al, 2002). In addition to monitoring outbreaks, the organization provides real-time data on the outbreak of any disease. In so doing, CDC helps in sensitizing the public on important developments in the public health sector. Individuals who believe they have the likelihood of contracting infectious diseases are advised on how to go about it. Specifically, the CDC website avails guidance on the necessary tests required to confirm the contraction of the disease. Further, the website provides data on the way in which individuals can avoid spreading the ailment to other people prior to their treatment. In the cases of more serious diseases, the organization provides in-depth direction for available treatment options both within and outside the country. Diseases such as Ebola require possible quarantine which is available for all the healthcare workers and patients. The benefit of having all this information is that it helps in educating patients and health workers that have been exposed to potential viruses. In the process of availing this information, the organization helps in reducing the likelihood of disease outbreak as well as spread of diseases.

In reducing the likelihood of disease prevalence, CDC recognizes the importance of having a vibrant IT department in its operations. In achieving this, the organization uses a health IT by investing in information technology systems to conduct the different functions in the public health sector. Some of the programs in use are structured to develop necessary standards for sharing information in the public health departments. In addition, the organization further uses information systems in the processes of surveillance and governance. The use of modern technology in the achievement of the organization’s goals is critical in the reduction in the causes of death among citizens in America. The benefits of having a vibrant organization geared at reducing the likelihood of disease contact cannot be underestimated. Ultimately, these benefits trickle down to the local citizens thus guaranteeing their health in the long run. CDC therefore helps not only individuals but entire communities in the process of reducing the probability of contracting diseases.

Today, CDC is one of the most important health organizations for its role in provision of health related information to the public. Indeed, information regarding the cause of diseases and their possible treatment and prevention measure is necessary and important to citizens in enhancing public health (Kelley, 2015). Through the information provided by the organization, citizens can effectively prevent themselves from infections and contraction of diseases. In so doing, the organization is at the forefront in maintaining a healthy population necessary for social and economic development. In addition, the role of the organization has widened over the years to include information on bioterrorist threats such as anthrax. In fact, the center is one of the only two centers that have a repository for smallpox with the other one being in Russia. Through such efforts, the organization helps in intelligence gathering regarding bioterrorist attacks. These attempts are not only geared towards the maintenance of good health for the citizens. Rather, it helps in the sustenance of both safety and security by alleviating threats from bioterrorist agents such as anthrax. Over all these years, the organization has continued to respond to emergencies in the public health sectors including preparation against the threat of terrorism.

 

References

Kelley, B. (2015). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Pate, R. R., Pratt, M., Blair, S. N., Haskell, W. L., Macera, C. A., Bouchard, C., … & Kriska, A. (1995). Physical activity and public health: a recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American College of Sports Medicine. Jama, 273(5), 402-407.

Ogden, C. L., Kuczmarski, R. J., Flegal, K. M., Mei, Z., Guo, S., Wei, R., … & Johnson, C. L. (2002). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2000 growth charts for the United States: improvements to the 1977 National Center for Health Statistics version. Pediatrics, 109(1), 45-60.

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