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The U.S. Department of Defense and Global Health: Infectious Disease Efforts

The Department of Defense (DoD) puts significant resources into understanding, preventing, and treating infectious diseases related to global health. Its efforts help to protect the health and well-being of U.S. military personnel, but also contribute to the health of civilians at home and abroad. DoD’s infectious disease efforts range from advancing medical research pertaining to infectious diseases; to innovating new tools and strategies for their control and prevention; to tracking, preparing for, and responding to outbreaks around the world. DoD’s work also helps strengthen other countries’ efforts to address these diseases.

This report provides an overview of DoD’s work pertaining to infectious diseases, looking at how activities are organized internally and ways they are coordinated with other U.S. government (USG) agencies and external partners. It focuses on the force health protection areas of medical research and development, health surveillance, and personnel education and training programs in infectious diseases, as well as to support the growing area of partnership engagement activities with partner countries. It identifies the various DoD funding streams for infectious disease efforts and spotlights DoD’s work to address two of global health’s key infectious disease challenges, HIV/AIDS and malaria, and DoD and USG funding supporting these efforts.

This report builds on The U.S. Department of Defense and Global Health, a Kaiser Family Foundation report released last fall that provided the first comprehensive look at the department’s role in global health.