Last week marked completion of the 100th Joint External Evaluation (JEE) in Haiti. In just over three years, over half of the United Nations member states have now completed this critical assessment of their capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease threats and other public health emergencies.
As our nation’s health protection agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has provided technical expertise to over 60% of the JEEs conducted thus far. This on-the-ground support leverages CDC’s core strengths in laboratory, surveillance, emergency response, and workforce development.
What is the JEE?
With support from the CDC and international partners, the World Health Organization (WHO) developed the JEE, a data-driven tool to help countries assess their health security strengths and weaknesses and direct resources toward the most urgent needs, to best protect the country and the rest of the world from the spread of infectious diseases. The first JEE was conducted in February 2016 in Tanzania.
The JEEs are voluntary, external assessments. The JEE process brings together experts from around the world to conduct each assessment and identify recommendations to improve health security capacity. Following their JEE, countries develop a National Action Plan for Health Security (NAPHS), which defines the actions and identifies the resources needed to address the gaps determined by the JEE process.
As an example in Côte d’Ivoire, the JEE team identified strengths and weaknesses in the country’s surveillance system and then the necessary next steps that would help Côte d’Ivoire build capacity in this area. Using these findings, CDC, the Ministry of Health, and partners trained more than 500 community health workers and developed a text-based reporting system so that they could communicate suspected cases of priority diseases to the appropriate medical authorities. Strengthening this community-based surveillance system enables Côte d’Ivoire to quickly detect diseases even in remote areas so that the Ministry of Health can address them quickly and prevent their spread.
CDC’s support of the JEE protects Americans
Infectious diseases know no borders. We know that an outbreak can travel from a remote village to major cities on all continents in less than 36 hours. An outbreak anywhere is a threat everywhere.
CDC is a world leader in building health security capacity, and CDC support to the JEE and NAPHS processes encourages countries to take action to address gaps in health security that could result in the spread of infectious diseases internationally and to the United States. CDC plays a critical role in the success of the JEE by supporting global implementation, as well as collaborating with WHO to continuously refine the JEE process and tools.
More information on CDC’s unique role in advancing global health security can be found here and here.
The United States completed JEE report can be found here, and the United States NAPHS can be found here.
All completed JEE reports can be found here.