Summary: S.2487 — 107th Congress (2001-2002)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed Senate amended (08/01/2002)

Global Pathogen Surveillance Act of 2002 - (Sec. 2) Sets forth the purposes of this Act, including to: (1) enhance the capability and cooperation of the international community, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and individual countries, through enhanced pathogen surveillance and appropriate data sharing, to detect, identify, and contain infectious disease outbreaks, whether their cause is intentional human action or natural in origin; (2) enhance the training of public health professionals and epidemiologists from eligible developing countries so that they may better detect, diagnose, and contain infectious disease outbreaks, especially those due to pathogens most likely to be used in a biological weapons attack; and (3) provide assistance to developing countries to purchase appropriate public health laboratory equipment and other technology necessary for infectious disease surveillance and diagnosis.

(Sec. 4) Declares that priority in the provision of U.S. assistance under this Act shall be given to eligible developing countries that permit personnel from WHO and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to investigate outbreaks of infectious diseases on their territories, provide early notification of disease outbreaks, and provide pathogen surveillance data to appropriate U.S. agencies.

(Sec. 5) Prohibits foreign nationals participating in programs authorized by this Act from having access, during the course of such participation, to select agents that may be used as, or in, a biological weapon, except in a supervised and controlled setting.

(Sec. 6) Establishes a program to award fellowships to eligible nationals of developing countries to pursue in the United States a master of public health degree with a concentration in epidemiology, advanced public health training in epidemiology for public health professionals, and courses on diagnosis and containment of likely bioterrorism agents.

Requires fellowship recipients, upon successful completion of such education or training, to return to their countries of nationality or last habitual residence (so long as these are eligible developing countries) and complete at least four years of employment in a public health position in the government or a nongovernmental, not-for-profit entity in that country or, with the approval of the Secretary and the government concerned, in an international health organization. Requires recipients unable to meet these requirements to reimburse the United States, with interest.

Authorizes the Secretary, on a case-by-case basis, to allow U.S. citizens to participate in the fellowship program, subject to a requirement of five years employment in a public health position in an eligible developing country or the World Health Organization.

(Sec. 7) Directs the Secretary of State to support short courses in-country (not the United States) to train: (1) laboratory technicians and other public health personnel from developing countries in laboratory techniques relating to the identification, diagnosis, and tracking of pathogens responsible for possible infectious disease outbreaks; and (2) health care providers and other public health personnel in techniques of syndrome surveillance reporting and rapid analysis of syndrome information using Geographic Information System (GIS) tools.

(Sec. 8) Authorizes the President to provide assistance to eligible developing countries to purchase and maintain: (1) certain public health laboratory equipment appropriate and necessary to collect, analyze, and identify expeditiously a broad array of pathogens, including mutant strains, which may cause disease outbreaks or may be used as a biological weapon; and (2) communications equipment and information technology and supporting equipment to collect, analyze, and transmit public health information.

(Sec. 9) Authorizes the President, in addition, to provide technical assistance and grant assistance to international health organizations to facilitate standardization in the reporting of public health information between and among developing countries and international health organizations.

(Sec. 10) Authorizes the head of a Federal agency, upon request of a U.S. chief of diplomatic mission or an international health organization, and with the Secretary's concurrence, to assign to a U.S. mission or international organization a public health position within the agency to enhance disease and pathogen surveillance efforts in developing countries.

(Sec. 11) Provides for: (1) a laboratory-to-laboratory exchange program between the United States and a eligible developing country; and (2) the expansion of the number of CDC and Department of Defense personnel assigned to laboratories in eligible developing countries that conduct research with respect to infectious diseases, including the operations of those laboratories, especially with respect to the implementation of on-site training of foreign nationals and activities affecting neighboring countries.

(Sec. 13) Authorizes the President to provide assistance to: (1) enhance the surveillance and reporting capabilities for WHO and existing regional health networks, and develop new networks; and (2) establish new country or regional Foreign Epidemiology Training Programs in eligible developing countries.

(Sec. 14) Authorizes appropriations for FY 2003 and 2004.