The Dominican Republic has recently gotten attention for its notable public-heath improvements since the CDC established a full-time country office there five years ago.
Recently Dr. Tom Kenyon, director of CDC’s Center for Global Health, and Dr. Debbi Birx, who leads CDC’s Division of Global HIV/AIDS, visited the Dominican Republic to review CDC programs aimed at protecting public health. Kenyon and Birx are the highest-level CDC officials to visit the Dominican Republic since CDC’s country office officially opened in 2009.
During their visit from Jan. 9-11, Drs. Kenyon and Birx visited San Cristobal Hospital and ventured to Little Haiti in the Dominican Republic’s capital, Santo Domingo, to meet with a non-government organization that works with Haitians living in the Dominican Republic. They also spent time with the country’s public health leaders, including Dr. Hidalgo Nuñez, Minister of Health in the Dominican Republic, and with the newly arrived US Ambassador, James Brewster.
The visit allowed them to discuss public-health topics, including: collaboration on HIV/AIDS, non-communicable diseases, infectious-disease outbreaks, road safety, and travelers’ health.
The partnership between the Dominican Republic and CDC has resulted in remarkable progress against HIV/AIDS and other diseases in just a few years.
In 2013, all 77 HIV clinics in the Dominican Republic adopted the use of ART cards and an electronic reporting tool to track treatment and clinical follow-up of more than 30,000 people living with HIV. The CDC has also assisted the Ministry of Health to strengthen their laboratory capacity.
CDC actively supports efforts between both the Dominican Republic and Haiti to address four priority diseases: cholera, HIV, malaria and tuberculosis.
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