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ARCHIVED - The Global Public Health Intelligence Network

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2003
Cat. No.: H39-4/17-2003
ISBN: 0-662-67756-0

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Accurate and timely information on global public health issues is key to being able to quickly assess and respond to emerging health risks around the world. Health Canada, in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), has developed the Global Public Health Intelligence Network (GPHIN). Information from GPHIN is provided to the WHO, international governments and non-governmental organizations who can then quickly react to public health incidents.

What is GPHIN?

GPHIN is a secure Internet-based "early warning" system that gathers preliminary reports of public health significance on a "real-time", 24 hours a day, 7 days a week basis. This unique multilingual system gathers and disseminates relevant information on disease outbreaks and other public health events by monitoring global media sources such as news wires and web sites. The information is filtered for relevancy by an automated process which is then complemented by human analysis. The output is categorized and made accessible to users. Notifications about public health events that may have serious public health consequences are immediately forwarded to users.

What types of surveillance does GPHIN conduct?

GPHIN has a broad scope. It tracks events such as disease outbreaks, infectious diseases, contaminated food and water, bio-terrorism and exposure to chemicals, natural disasters, and issues related to the safety of products, drugs and medical devices.

Who uses GPHIN?

Users include non-governmental agencies and organizations, as well as international government authorities who provide public health surveillance. GPHIN is used by the global public health community in its efforts to minimize health risks by developing appropriate risk management, control and prevention measures and responses.

Who manages GPHIN?

GPHIN is managed by Health Canada's Centre for Emergency Preparedness and Response (CEPR), which was created in July 2000 to serve as Canada's central coordinating point for public health security. It is considered a centre of expertise in the area of civic emergencies including natural disasters and malicious acts with health repercussions. CEPR offers a number of practical supports to municipalities, provinces and territories, and other partners involved in first response and public health security. This is achieved through its network of public health, emergency health services, and emergency social services contacts.

For more information:
Manager, GPHIN,
at (613) 957-2715;
e-mail: GPHIN@hc-sc.gc.ca