"Identify, characterize and evaluate risk factors for the most important infectious disease threats in the region and strengthen infectious disease surveillance and response networks in the region."
Presidential Directive NSTC-7 of 1996 formally expanded the mission of the DoD to support global surveillance, training, research and response to emerging infectious diseases (EID). The objectives of the program are to strengthen the infectious disease surveillance capability of the MOHP, enhance surveillance for antibiotic resistant pathogens, and strengthen prevention and control programs, particularly for blood-borne pathogen transmission and outbreak detection and response.
The goal is to establish a sentinel surveillance network of 12 hospitals for priority infectious diseases (meningitis, encephalitis, hepatitis, undifferentiated febrile illness, hemorrhagic fevers, influenza and dysentery), antibiotic resistant pathogens, and to establish prospective community-based surveillance for selected diseases. To date, six fever hospitals are enrolled in the network, looking specifically at meningitis and encephalitis cases.
A unit under the disease surveillance program is Malaria Field Research, that supports the larger DoD objective to reduce the risk of malaria disease to deployed forces in the face of world-wide multi-drug resistant parasites. A field site, located in the upper east region of northern Ghana, is being developed as a site to evaluate candidate malaria vaccines. In collaboration with the NMRC Malaria Program, Navrongo Health Research Center, the Noguchi Memorial Institute of Medical Research in Ghana and USAMMDA, a two-year detailed study of malaria attack rates in three cohorts was completed as well as a study of Etaquine for the chemoprophylaxis of P. falciparum in adults. These studies have also laid the groundwork for future vaccine trials and drug efficacy studies.