CORDS, an organization dedicated to improving disease surveillance worldwide, launched today at the Prince Mahidol Award Conference in Bangkok. The Skoll Global Threats Fund is one of the cornerstone supporters of this new entity. CORDS (Connecting Organizations for Regional Disease Surveillance) is a unique, international non-governmental organization building information exchange among disease surveillance networks in different regions of the world. CORDS promotes global exchanges of best practices, tools and strategies, training courses, innovations, case studies and technical data to improve disease surveillance worldwide.
CORDS works on four primary objectives to improve global disease surveillance: improving capacity; advancing One Health (human, animal and environmental health together); promoting innovation; and building sustainable networks. CORDS complements the work of the leading global human, animal and food health organizations. The World Health Organization, the World Organization for Animal Health and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations have all welcomed the creation of CORDS (see their joint letter here).
Funding of CORDS as an independent entity comes from the Rockefeller Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Skoll Global Threats Fund following initial project support from the Nuclear Threat Initiative, the Peter G. Peterson Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation.
The six founding networks of CORDS are
– The Asian Partnership on Emerging Infectious Disease Research
– The East African Integrated Disease Surveillance Network
– The Mekong Basin Disease Surveillance Network
– The Middle East Consortium on Infectious Disease Surveillance
– The Southeastern Europe Health Network
– The Southern Africa Center for Infectious Disease Surveillance
More details on CORDS, as well as case studies from several of its member networks, can be found in a special supplement to the Emerging Health Threats Journal here (or via PDF). For more information, visit www.cordsnetwork.org. Follow CORDS on Twitter at @CORDSNetwork.