CDC Director Tom Frieden outlined the agency's five major goals for 2014 in a recent CNN column, highlighting the importance of eradicating polio and reducing opioid overdose deaths.
The major accomplishments of 2013
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Despite a government shutdown and a $600 million budget cut, Frieden says the agency made major strides in improving global health this year. Frieden writes that "the uncertainty of" those "16 nerve-wracking days in October when most of" CDC's 12,000 experts were furloughed makes him even more proud of CDC's achievements in 2013.
According to Frieden, the agency in 2013:
- Helped more than 100,000 smokers to quit for good with their Tips from Former Smokers campaign;
- Stopped an outbreak of listeria infections using the agency's Advanced Molecular Detection program;
- Aided more than 12,000 facilities in preventing health care-acquired infections through their National Healthcare Safety Network;
- Reached a major milestone for the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, which has prevented one million infants from contracting HIV over the past 10 years; and
- Developed new resources that will help clinicians, communities, and individuals prevent a one million strokes and heart attacks by 2017.
"We are proud of this progress, but there's much more to do," Frieden writes.
The goals for 2014
In 2014, CDC aims to:
- Increase the number of people receiving the human papillomavirus vaccine;
- Preserve antibiotics, which are becoming increasingly powerless against superbugs;
- Reduce deaths related to drug overdose, especially prescription opioid-related deaths;
- Eradicate polio; and
- Boost our ability to contain infectious disease globally.
Frieden emphasizes the fact that "CDC is America's health protection agency," but it has "boots on the ground" in every nation (Frieden, CNN, 9/18).