National Center for Disease Control and Public Health (NCDC&PH) is the lead Bio-Medical Research Center in the Country of Georgia.
NCDC&PH is a descendant of the anti-plague station founded in Georgia in 1937, which turned into the National Center for Disease Control in 1996. Following number of reorganizations and merging, the research capacities of NCDC were significantly strengthened in 2013, by integration of the – R. Lugar Center for Public Health Research (CPHR), the new modern research facility with BSL-2 and BSL-3 capacities.
The main mission of the center is the protection and improvement of the public health in the Country of Georgia through scientific evidence-based prevention of diseases; preparation for and prompt response to threats of public health.
Strategic Goals and Objectives of NCDC&PH include decrease of morbidity, disability and mortality caused by Communicable Diseases and Non-communicable Diseases; Assessment and correction of environmental hazards and behavioral risk-factors for improvement of health status in population; Applied and fundamental bio-medical and bio-technological research.
NCDC&PH is actively engaged in number of activities, focusing on surveillance of a) Communicable Diseases, such as Vaccine-preventable, Influenza, air-borne, water-borne and food-borne, nosocomial, vector-borne, parasitic, zoonotic, especially dangerous pathogens, viral hepatitis, STI / HIV / TB; b) Non-communicable Diseases Surveillance, including Cardiovascular, Cancer, Diabetes, CRDs, Risk-Factors, Health Promotion, Behavioral Health; c) Public Health State Programs on Immunization, Safe Blood, TB, HIV / AIDS, Screening and Surveillance, Mother and Child Health, Occupational Health; d) Environmental Health and Medical Statistics and others. At last it is a IHR Focal Point and committed Center for responding in Georgia.
NCDC&PH includes Public Health Laboratory network, consisting of 3 Zonal Diagnostic Laboratories (ZDL) and 7 Laboratory Sentinel Stations (LSS) spread countrywide, and a Reference Laboratory at the R. Lugar Center for Public Health Research (CPHR) located in Tbilisi with the area of 8,000 m2, the Laboratory Space of 2,551 m2 and tenanted by the Bacteriology, Serology, Molecular Biology, Genomic Center, Virology, Parasitology, Cell Cultures, Entomology groups. One of the prominent landmarks of the facility is the National collection of microorganisms (including EDPs). State of art Vivarium provides conditions for small-size animal research according to modern standards;
CPHR is also hosting WHO accredited national reference labs (Polio; Influenza; Measles/Rubella), Labs connected to the WHO (Invasive Meningitis, Rotaviruses, Salmonella, Diphtheria, Malaria) and international network, with the potency to become WHO collaborative centers in future;
It also represents one of the best regional training center for graduate students and young investigators in bio-medical sciences with the BSL-3 space for invited scientists;
NCDC&PH had implemented more than 160 international projects in the field of public health, with some of highlights listed below:
• Malaria Prevention and Control;
• Surveillance and Response to Avian and Pandemic Influenza;
• Clinical, Epidemiologic and Laboratory based assessment of Brucellosis in Georgia;
• Assessment of human immune response to anthrax infection and vaccines in Georgia;
• Tularemia Epidemiology and Ecology in Georgia;
• Prevention of Amebiasis in Georgia;
• Enforcement of 100% Smoke-free Policy in Health Care Institutions and Secondary Schools of Georgia;
• Reproductive Health Survey (2000, 2005, 2010);
• Non-communicable Diseases Risk – factors Survey (STEPS);
• US CDC / GDD:
a. South Caucasus Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program (FELTP);
b. Acute Febrile Disease Surveillance;
c. Epidemiology and Control of Nosocomial Infections etc.
International Collaborators: WHO, CDC, DTRA / DoD (WRAIR, CH2MHILL, USAMRIID), DSTL, EU, UNICEF, UNFPA, UNDP, UNICRI, NIH/NIAID, GFTAM, ISTC, STCU, GAVI, USAID, BP, University of Oslo, University of Maryland; University of Florida; Louisiana State University; Lawrance Livermore National Laboratory; etc.