Global Health Strategy
Analysis and Recommendations Draft section – The CDC
Ascertaining the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of the Center of Disease Control (CDC) may be difficult. However, an indirect analysis can be obtained from CDC’s publications on its global health strategy and annual progress report.
CDC’s strengths were extrapolated from the Global Health Strategy Overview (CDC, n.d.) The article lists five areas that the CDC is involved in. These five areas are: health systems, partnerships, country public health, public health infrastructure and global health. (CDC, n.d.) From these five areas, assertions on the strengths of the CDC are made.
- Strong Technical Expertise. CDC surveils disease and monitors/evaluates health through information systems, manages public health laboratories, develops workforce, conducts research and creates health actions/programs for the public. (CDC, n.d.) Moreover, CDC understands infectious and non-communicable disease-specific areas, implements and evaluates specific public health programs and provides technical assistance to public health institutions such as ministries of health (MOHs) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). (CDC, n.d.)
- Longstanding Partnerships. CDC has a relationship with many organizations including health institutions, universities, private sector, government agencies, United Nations, World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nation Children’s Fund (UNICEF). (CDC, n.d.) This longstanding relationship demonstrates CDC’s reputation for meeting its objectives.
- International Involvement. CDC shares its expertise to other countries in order to improve their public health activities. (CDC, n.d.) This level of involvement expands the CDC’s services from a local to global platform.
- Well-established Infrastructure. CDC collaborates with its partners such as President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator, Department of State, and US Government agencies to build laboratory networks, improve surveillance capabilities, create health care systems, develop service delivery models and strengthen workforce capacity. (CDC, n.d.) Because of these existing partnerships, CDC maximizes its investments and enhances its ability to address other public health issues. (CDC, n.d.)
- Global Influence. CDC engages with international partners, serves as a key contributor in developing guidelines and strategies and delivers public health programs on a bilateral and multilateral basis. (CDC, n.d.) CDC exerts its influence on a global scale through these efforts.
Certain weaknesses can be assumed due to the type of activities the CDC performs.
- Limited Resources. Land, labor, capital, enterprise and technology are the five main resources. These are all in limited supply for any organization even within the CDC.
- Morale. CDC deals with important issues regarding health. The psychological and physiological output to deal with these issues on an everyday basis and ethical standpoint may affect the morale of its members.
- Management. Many challenges exist in managing operations at local and global level. Leadership positions may require both technical expertise and management skills.
- Intergroup Conflict. CDC partners with different organizations, involves internationally and influences globally. Differences in views and perspectives will no doubt create conflict.
CDC’s opportunities were extrapolated from the 2012 Annual Progress Report. (CDC, 2014) The report lists accomplishments and future directions for each of the CDC’s goals. The goals suggest areas where the CDC can gain a competitive advantage.
- Health Impact. CDC’s Goal 1 is to improve the health and well-being of people around the world. (CDC, 2014) This includes prevention of HIV infection, reduce morbidity and mortality of highly prevalent diseases (i.e. tuberculosis, malaria, etc.), maternal and perinatal mortality, child morbidity and mortality, control/eliminate/eradicate vacci.ne-preventable diseases and reduce burden of non-communicable diseases. (CDC, 2014) CDC’s ability to achieve this goal would strengthen its longstanding relationships, international involvement and global influence.
- Health security. CDC’s Goal 2 is to improve the organization’s capabilities to prepare and respond to infectious diseases, other emerging health threats and public health emergencies. (CDC, 2014) This may require developing technology for early detection of an outbreak or relaying information effectively to improve responsiveness. Achieving this goal would demonstrate CDC’s ability to deliver critical service and provide an edge against its competitors.
- Health capacity. CDC’s Goal 3 is to build country public health capacity. (CDC, 2014) This includes strengthening public health institutions and infrastructure, improve surveillance and use strategic information, build workforce capacity, strengthen laboratory systems and networks and improve research capacity. (CDC, 2014) This goal clearly identifies the CDC’s plan for growth and expansion. A larger and more powerful infrastructure could potentially lessen the negative effects or reduce the impact of external forces.
- Organizational capacity. CDC’s Goal 4 is to maximize potential of CDC’s global programs to achieve impact. (CDC, 2014) This includes strengthening organizational and technical capacity towards Global Health Initiatives and enhance communication on its Global Health Expertise. (CDC, 2014) This goal illustrates the CDC’s desire to continue its influence on a global scale. By furthering its position, CDC could be the dominating force on health issues around the world.
CDC often faces harmful effects from outside of the organization that are beyond its control. These effects may be entities or themes mentioned frequently in the CDC’s 2012 Annual Progress Report. (CDC,2014).
- Resistant or Persistent Pathogens and Outbreaks. CDC continues its efforts in limiting the spread of HIV, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). (CDC, 2014) Resistant or persistent pathogens continue to affect CDC’s efforts on other health issues. Similarly, outbreaks stresses CDC’s critical response measures. CDC will need to delegate to or rely more on Field Epidemiology Training Programs (FETPs).
- Demand from Global Community. Partner countries may not have adequate resources to build their own health capacity. This dependency places strain on the CDC’s limited resources.
- Technology. Technology may not be advanced enough to allow CDC to achieve its goals. For example, early diagnostic testing may not be possible for certain diseases. Another example is the unavailability of software programs or custom hardware to suit the needs of the CDC. Other technology threats include bioterrorism or weaponized pathogens. The CDC may not be prepared to combat these threats.
- Unstable countries and leadership changes impact CDC’s goals. Unstable countries create war refugees that migrate to other areas including the US. This movement of people may exacerbate the spread of diseases. Shifts in government leadership also affect the structure and policies of the organization. The CDC must plan in advance to deal with threats such as these.
- CDC (n.d.) CDC Global Health Strategy Overview. Retrieved on October 12, 2020 from https://www.cdc.gov/globalhealth/strategy/pdf/cgh_strategy_overview.pdf
- CDC (2014) CDC Global Health Strategy (2012-2015), 2012 Annual Progress Report. Retrieved on October 12, 2020 from https://www.cdc.gov/globalhealth/strategy/pdf/2012-gh-strategy-and-annual-report-summary.pdf