17 May
How Canada pioneered a leading global epidemiological surveillance system called - GPHIN (Global Public Health Intelligence Network) and implications of recent policy shifts

Read about PHAC (Public Health Agency of Canada), GPHIN (Global Public Health Intelligence Network, and the WHO connections & recent impacts on global epidemiological surveillance systems.  


"....Canada once operated a robust pandemic early warning system and employed a public-health doctor based in China who could report back on emerging problems. But it had largely abandoned those international strategies over the past five years, and was no longer as plugged-in.... 

.....But the Public Health Agency, which was created after the 2003 SARS crisis to bolster the country against emerging disease threats, had been stripped of much of its capacity to gather outbreak intelligence and provide advance warning by the time the pandemic hit.....The Global Public Health Intelligence Network, an early warning system known as GPHIN that was once considered a cornerstone of Canada’s preparedness strategy, had been scaled back over the past several years, with resources shifted into projects that didn’t involve outbreak surveillance....

Senior officials at the Geneva-based organization – including Philippe Barboza, a manager of the WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme – urged Canada not to let its home-grown pandemic warning system falter. The highly specialized unit wasn’t merely a benefit to Canada – it had grown to fill a critical international role, providing the WHO with one-fifth of its epidemiological intelligence. It was too important to be curtailed... "    Read more: