ABSTRACT

Public Health and Border Security: HHS and DHS Should Further Strengthen Their Ability to Respond to TB Incidents, Report to Congressional Requesters   [open pdf - 2MB]

"In spring 2007, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and state and local health officials worked together to interdict two individuals with drug-resistant infectious tuberculosis (TB) from crossing U.S. borders and direct them to treatment. Concerns arose that HHS's and DHS's responses to the incidents were delayed and ineffective. GAO was asked to examine the factors that affected HHS's and DHS's responses to the incidents, the extent to which HHS and DHS made changes to response procedures as a result of the incidents, and HHS's and DHS's efforts to assess the effectiveness of changes made as a result of the incidents. GAO reviewed agency documents and interviewed officials about the procedures in place at the time of the incidents and changes made since. GAO recommends that DHS explore the feasibility of enhancing its capability to create public health alerts based on other variations of biographic information, and that HHS and DHS work together to continue to inform state and local health officials about new tools and procedures and develop plans for completing actions to ensure coordination among agencies. HHS and DHS generally concurred with GAO's recommendations and are taking actions to respond to them."

Report Number:
GAO-09-58
Publisher:
Date:
2008-10
Copyright:
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Government Accountability Office (GAO): http://www.gao.gov/
Format:
pdf
Media Type:
application/pdf
URL:
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