|Year : 2004 | Volume
| Issue : 4 | Page : 268-269
Centers for disease control and prevention
Website Editor, IJP, JIPMER, Pondicherry - 605006, India
Website Editor, IJP, JIPMER, Pondicherry - 605006, India
|How to cite this article:|
Singh J. Centers for disease control and prevention. Indian J Pharmacol 2004;36:268-9
| » www.cdc.gov|| |
Geographic distances are soon becoming a factor of diminishing importance with the establishment of cross border research, health, economic and socio-cultural relations. While globalization opens new opportunities, it also magnifies risks. Diseases, treatments and related research are no longer local issues. Regulations have to be redefined in order to comply with a broad array of needs addressing good manufacturing, clinical, laboratory, and marketing practices. This daunting task can only be taken up by dedicated organizations that can address various issues related to health and integrate the answers to provide the best possible solutions for the health and safety of people.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) located in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, is an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services. It is acknowledged as the central organization for protecting the health and safety of people both in the USA and outside it. The Centre aims to provide “credible information to enhance health decisions, and promoting health through strong partnerships”. The approach to disease prevention and control, environmental health, and health promotion and education activities is seamlessly designed to provide the best possible answers for local as well as global health related issues.
The website of CDC - www.cdc.gov has become the primary medium for this large repository of science-based information for wide range of audiences. The home page of the Center is deceptively austere and gives little idea about the vast amount of data which the site contains (A conservative estimate is a mind boggling 1,25,000 “pages” of information and more than 120 million “hits” at the end of 2003). The Center works through its different organisational components which are showcased by dedicated individual pages. All these sites have links to publications, statistics and advice on their specialised aspects.
The National Centre on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities consists of information on dealing with disabilities, preventing birth defects and displays useful advice on various aspects of childhood disabilities and congenital disorders. The National Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion focuses on heart disease, cancer and diabetes which are ranked as the major causes of mortality and are fast emerging as diseases to reckon with in developing nations. National Centre for Environmental Health page has information on hazardous material, radiation, biological agents and their interaction with the health and disease of people. It has updates on dealing with accidental exposure and biological warfare. National Centre for Health Statistics has numerous links to data garnered from various health related surveys including the path breaking National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) and the joint Canada-US Survey of Health. International Classification of Diseases (ICD) and statistical information on health including vital statistics are also available on this page. A noteworthy link is CDC-Wonder which provides a portal to reports and statistical public health data. The National Centre for HIV, STD, and TB Prevention has information on these diseases in the form of frequently asked questions both for consumers and trainers and forms a valuable resource for developing an approach to these ailments. The link to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases has an indexed search facility by disease and selected topics. It also links to the peer-reviewed journal- Emerging Infectious Disease. The link on National Centre for Injury Prevention and Control has fact sheets on various injuries and articles on measures to reduce morbidity, disability, mortality, and costs associated with them. The National Immunization Program page has information and news form different sources on the use of vaccines and research that is being undertaken in the area of vaccine preventable diseases. The Epidemiology Program Office expounds on the archetypical role ascribed to the CDC- Public health surveillance and providing domestic and international support through scientific communication, statistical and epidemiologic consultation; and training of experts in surveillance, epidemiology, applied public health, and preventive measures. The well known statistical package EpiInfo is available for free download from this page. All the organisation sites are well linked to publications, training material and resource material for organising diverse studies or surveys linked with them.
The sequencing of the human genome has generated new awareness on the role of genetic variation in health and disease. The development of human genome epidemiology (HuGE) and setting up of HuGE Net which researches on linking genetic variation and disease can be accessed from the home page. Various publications of the Centre, including the archived Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report can be freely accessed from the publications page, a number of free software and teaching aids are also available from this link.
A good place to start exploring this massive website is the index feature on the home page. The search facility is helpful but spews out a lot of unneeded information. The design, ease of navigation and segregation of sub-topics however makes the site easy to comprehend. It is a good resource for those who are looking for updated and authentic information on statistics, trials, reports, meta-analysis and cutting-edge developments especially in infectious diseases, genomics, vaccine research, epidemiology and diseases of public health importance.