The Integrated Next-generation Surveillance in Global Health: Translation to Action (INSIGHT to Action) project is a five-year cooperative agreement with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to assess and strengthen global public health surveillance systems using a One Health approach. The INSIGHT project leverages the capacity building strengths of I-TECH and the One Health disease surveillance expertise of the Center for One Health Research, with a model of engaging local institutions and experts in countries where it will be working in a shared partnership model.
In its first year, the INSIGHT project focused on an in depth assessment of the public health surveillance systems in Peru, in partnership with experts from University of Peru Cayetano Heredia . The completed assessment has now catalyzed the formation of a technical working group with representation across multiple government agencies that will work with other stakeholders including the World Bank at implementing measures to strengthen regional and country capacity to detect, respond to, control, and prevent emerging disease threats to health security.
The INSIGHT surveillance work in Latin America is also now expanding to involve Paraguay, Brazil, Argentina, and Colombia.
IDASH TRAINING PROGRAM
In 2023, the INSIGHT program launched the Informatics and Data Science for Health (IDASH) training program in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The goals of IDASH are to enhance capacity to create and use public health information systems that enable the capture, management, analysis, dissemination, and use of reliable, timely information to improve population-level health outcomes, as well as strengthen regional capacity to effectively respond to future global health challenges.
Building on lessons learned from the Peru assessment work, the INSIGHT team is now working with the Ukraine Public Health Center on expanding sentinel and event based surveillance systems in Ukraine and strengthening the capacity of the public health system for emergency management of chemical biological, radiological, and nuclear threats. The INSIGHT team has organized a workshop in Poland bringing together key principals from the Ukraine ministry of health and local health departments to accelerate the pace of activities in support of public health in the country. INSIGHT is coordinating technical working groups on Early Warning and Response, Public Health Emergency Management, and Surveillance strengthening.
I-TECH works in collaboration with key stakeholders, including communities, government entities, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to strengthen and implement surveillance programs focused on emerging disease threats, HIV recent infection, birth defects surveillance, and hospital acquired infections in sub-Saharan Africa. Eastern Europe, Asia, and South America.
In Malawi, I-TECH has supported the implementation of an active hospital-based birth surveillance system at four high-volume facilities in Malawi since 2016, and beginning in 2019, I-TECH began implementing recent HIV infection surveillance in April 2019.
In 2022, as part of the Integrated Next-generation Surveillance in Global Health: Translation to Action (INSIGHT to Action) project, I-TECH, the Peruvian Ministry of Health, the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, and CDC collaborated on a situational analysis to assess areas for potential strengthening of the Peruvian disease surveillance systems. In 2023, the INSIGHT for Action project launched the Triple Border Disease Surveillance Strengthening Program.
In Kenya, the I-TECH Kenya office is working with CDC on implementing surveillance for hospital acquired infections (HAI) in low resource settings, with a focus on surgical site infection surveillance.
Human disruptions to natural systems are causing climate change and other major environmental upheavals including biodiversity loss, zoonotic disease emergence, toxic pollution, heat emergencies, and flooding that will have major impacts on the health of human and animal populations. To reflect the intersectionality and interconnectedness of the health of humans, animals, and the shared (and rapidly changing) environment, I-TECH partners with the Center for One Health Research in designing and implementing programs that use the One Health approach to prevent, detect, and respond to emerging disease threats. I-TECH’s One Health approach focuses on strengthening disease surveillance systems and laboratories to detect and assess new infectious disease threats, as well as detecting “sentinel” cases of disease in humans and animals that are indicators of health impacts of environmental change.
In 2022, I-TECH formed the Global One Health Group to support the prevention, detection, and response to emerging disease threats throughout the world. By leveraging the strength and expertise of the University of Washington Center for One Health Research and other UW partners, I-TECH is providing effective training, technical assistance, and laboratory services to support capacity and systems strengthening in affected communities. The Global One Health Group includes experts in zoonotic and other infectious diseases, antimicrobial resistance, public health, animal health, environmental health, and implementation science.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the critical importance of strong national disease surveillance systems that can detect disease threats in a timely fashion and provide actionable information for public health action. I-TECH focuses on preventing the likelihood of disease outbreaks, improving the efficiency and accuracy of the detection of communicable diseases, strengthening surveillance capacity for rapid and effective responses, and enhancing infection prevention and control practices to prevent the emergence and spread of pathogens and antimicrobial resistant bacteria.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, I-TECH provided technical assistance on the prevention and control of COVID-19 that ranges from training healthcare workers and facilities in infection prevention and control best practices to supporting the development of national policies and standard operating procedures. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, I-TECH has worked with Ministries of Health and other local stakeholders to ensure that laboratories, health facilities, clinics, and providers are being trained in and implementing procedures to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19.