This single-source funding opportunity announcement (FOA) Enhancing Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Capacities in the Americas in Collaboration with the Gorgas Memorial Institute for Health Studies (GMI) in Panama invites an application for a five-year cooperative agreement between
the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) and GMI for implementation during the federal government fiscal years 2017-202 1. Public law in Panama designates GMI as the national reference laboratory, coordinating directly with the Ministry of Health (MoH) as needed to conduct public health surveillance and epidemiological studies, and maintains the capacity to respond to many types of infectious disease threats.
The envisioned ASPR-GMI collaborative agreement sustains and advances the long-standing collaborations between the United States and Panama aimed at safeguarding each country from public health threats, fulfilling the goals of multiple international frameworks and agreements, including the International Health Regulations (2005) (http://www.who.int/ihr/publications/9789241580496/en/)(IHR).
Projects and activities proposed by GMI under this agreement will combine strategic coordination of public health preparedness and emergency response programs as well as technical collaborations to strengthen Panama and the Region capacities to prevent, detect, report, and respond to infectious disease threats, focusing on pandemic influenza, other emerging infections, and biological (terrorism) hazards.
The cooperative agreement would maintain the functional relationship between ASPR and GMI established through prior cooperative agreements:
GMI maintains not-for-profit status in the United States and under national law in Panama, and GMI is responsible to the MoH to fulfill specific national public health functions.
The only biosafety level-3 laboratory in the region is GMI and it has been a focal point for public health training and emergency preparedness in the region since 1921, including the activities previously supported by ASPR cooperative agreements since 200 6. In addition to the work supported by ASPR, GMI continues to be an important regional health security asset, as a key partner with the Pan American Health Organization for surveillance of pandemic influenza, chikungunya, dengue and other infectious diseases, training for public health emergency response and biosafety, and modern molecular methods for identification of antiretroviral resistance.