Peace Corps Forms Partnership with The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 16, 2003 – Today, the Peace Corps and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) during a ceremony held at the Paul D. Coverdell Peace Corps Headquarters.

“While the Peace Corps and the CDC have a long and valued history of collaboration, today’s event is a milestone for both organizations. Together, our two agencies have been successful in providing mutual benefits for Peace Corps volunteers, the public health community, and the international health community, particularly during the last two decades,” said Peace Corps Director Gaddi H. Vasquez.

Working together, the Peace Corps and the CDC will continue to face global health challenges. Specific areas of possible collaboration include work in: vaccine-preventable diseases, maternal child health, infectious diseases, chronic diseases, nutrition, reproductive health, emerging health issues, tobacco use prevention and control, injuries, occupational health, environmental health, health promotion and disease prevention, and health of displaced populations.

“This is more than a partnership - this represents a true synergy where we are taking the best of two agencies and blending them together in-country, as well as on the policy level in Washington. Each party cannot do alone what they together accomplish," stated Dr. Gerberding, Director of the CDC.

The CDC serves as the national focus for developing and applying disease prevention and control, environmental health, and health promotion and health education activities designed to improve the health of the people of the United States. The CDC is responsible for controlling the introduction and spread of infectious diseases, and provides consultation and assistance to other nations and international agencies to assist in improving their disease prevention and control, environmental health, and health promotion activities.

Since 1961, more than 168,000 volunteers have served in the Peace Corps working in such diverse fields as education, health and HIV/AIDS education and awareness, information technology, business development, the environment, and agriculture. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a two-year commitment.

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