SILVER SPRING, MD--(Marketwired - Feb 13, 2014) - The Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) applauds the National Security Council's launch of the Global Health Security agenda, which identifies nine priorities for action to prevent and control infectious disease threats to world health. Development of strong laboratory systems and training for laboratory scientists are called out in two of the nine priorities.

"In a world where pathogens can hop a plane and be across the globe in a matter of hours, no country can cordon itself off from the spread of infectious diseases," said APHL Executive Director Scott Becker. "We all live in the same global petri dish; our best defense is to build robust health systems worldwide." He added, "This includes laboratory systems. Without strong laboratory systems with trained staff and electronic reporting capability, infectious diseases can arrive on our doorstep before we even know they exist."

With over 15 years' experience in 31 countries on five continents, APHL strengthens national laboratory systems with technical assistance in laboratory strategic planning, twinning partnerships, training, information management systems, external quality assurance and other areas of laboratory practice. The association develops laboratory capability and capacity for surveillance and detection of HIV/AIDS, foodborne diseases, genetic and metabolic disorders in newborns, and emerging infectious diseases. The association is active in 22 PEPFAR countries and in others worldwide.

The Global Health Security agenda supports multiple existing international agreements under the World Health Organization, International Health Regulations 2005, the World Organization for Animal Health Animal Health Codes, and the Codex Alimentarius International Food Standards. It will complement existing multilateral efforts in this area, including under the G8, G20, Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction, Global Health Security Initiative and regional forums.

The Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) works to strengthen laboratory systems to prevent and control disease in the US and globally. The nonprofit organization is located in Silver Spring, MD.

Contact Information:

Jody C. DeVoll
Director, Strategic Communications