BioScience Trends. 2023;17(3):239-244. (DOI: 10.5582/bst.2023.01124)

The priority for prevention and control of infectious diseases: Reform of the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control – Occasioned by "the WHO chief declares end to COVID-19 as a global health emergency"

Luo MY, Gong FZ, Wang JN, Gong ZY


The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has revealed that infectious diseases will present a significant worldwide threat for a long time in the future. Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDCs) worldwide have developed for nearly 80 years to fight against infectious disease and protect public health. However, at the advent of the 21th century, the responsibility for prevention and control of infectious diseases has gradually been marginalized in the CDC system. The COVID-19 pandemic has also provided a glimpse into the overburdened operational process and inadequate personnel reserve of the current system of CDCs. In addition, a long-term multisectoral joint mechanism has not been created for sharing information and cooperation to facilitate public health. Reform of the system of CDCs or public health is very necessary. A global prevention and control system should be envisioned and implemented worldwide, and vertical management should be implemented throughout all levels of CDCs to improve their structure and administrative status. The WHO should expand its scope of responsibilities, especially with regard to mechanisms for joint prevention and control of infectious diseases, to substantially implement the "One Health" concept. The International Health Regulations (IHR) and relevant laws and regulations should enshrine the CDC's authority in administration and policy-making to deal with outbreaks or pandemics of infectious diseases.

KEYWORDS: reform, infectious disease; Center for Disease Prevention and Control, health policy

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