RESPOND is a cooperative agreement funded by USAID as part of the Emerging Pandemic Threats Program. The objective of RESPOND is to improve the capacity to respond to zoonotic and emerging infectious diseases around the world. Faculty from the College of Veterinary Medicine, the School of Public Health, the School of Nursing, the Medical School, the College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources and the College of Education and Human Development are sharing their expertise and working with Universities and other organizations in areas around the world that are “hot spots” for the emergence of infectious disease. These hot spots include the Congo Basin and Southeast Asia.
DAI, a development company based in Washington DC, is leading the project and Tufts University is an additional collaborator. Other projects in USAID’s Emerging Pandemic Threats Program include PREDICT, IDENTIFY, PREPARE and PREVENT.
RESPOND currently has two offices in the Congo Basin, in Kinsasha, Democratic Republic of the Congo and in Kampala, Uganda. (map) The central offices are meant to be the hub of a wheel, with the spokes representing the involvement of nearby countries.
One University of Minnesota RESPOND activity conducted in this region was the Global Health Institute held August 1 – 13th , 2010 at Makerere University in Kampala Uganda. 12 students from the University of Minnesota and 65 students from 7 countries in central and eastern Africa participated in this course which focused on a “One Health “approach to infectious disease. The students were able to interact with other students and instructors from multiple disciplines including nursing, medicine, veterinary medicine, and public health. University of Minnesota faculty from the School of Public Health, the School of Nursing and the College of Veterinary Medicine participated in the course.
In addition the University of Minnesota is participating in the newly formed One Health Central Eastern Africa (OHCEA) which is a consortium of deans from schools of public health and veterinary medicine in central and eastern Africa.
Currently RESPOND has an office in Bangkok, Thailand. (map)
A Global Health Institute along with other activities are planned in this area.