Pioneering Innovation in Infectious Disease Surveillance: Bizzell’s Impact on Global Health

Pioneering Innovation in Infectious Disease Surveillance: Bizzell’s Impact on Global Health

By Editorial Staff

In the context of global health outcomes, innovative infectious disease surveillance is crucial. As the world grapples with emerging health challenges, the role of robust data collection is pivotal. At its core, infectious disease surveillance can be simplified into a three-pronged framework. At Bizzell, this structure is Detect, Monitor, and Respond, or simply DMR, which emphasizes the capability to detect, monitor, and respond to infectious diseases accurately and precisely.

1. Early Detection: Time is of the essence when it comes to infectious diseases. Innovative surveillance mechanisms can serve as early warning systems, which help detect emergent diseases in their infancy. We believe that building strong and resilience health systems against public health threats begins with a strong health system that provides capacity and capabilities to detect threats. Identifying outbreaks swiftly can make or break global health responses. Proactive approaches are instrumental in preventing and protecting our most vulnerable communities nationwide. Proactive approaches in data collection and detection strategies also allow for the appropriate allocation of resources. Understanding the biological dynamics and trajectory of new and emerging threats can assist in deploying limited personnel, medical instrumentation, and funds in the most effective and strategic ways to maximize efficacy. Bizzell supports early detection processes through data analysis, corrective action plans, and monitoring progress. We provide technical assistance to agencies to establish or improve sentinel sites through standard surveillance-based indicators and community event-based surveillance.

2. Monitoring: Infectious diseases have no concept of borders, race, nationality, or religion. Facilitating real time data exchanges between nations and international health organizations is crucial in fostering global collaboration. Monitoring allows for a collective response to health threats, allowing shared resources, pooled knowledge, and insights to be shared both nationally and internationally. Monitoring also allows for the development of more accurate predictions of pathogenic behavior. This can help develop more concrete and strategic preparedness plans which reduce the impact of infectious diseases on communities.

3. Rapid Response: The speed in which we respond to infectious diseases plays a pivotal role in minimizing the economic impact of outbreaks. By containing diseases at an early stage, countries can avoid widespread disruptions to trade, travel, and productivity. This proactive stance safeguards economic stability and ensures that societies can rebound swiftly from health crises. The response to new health threats is one of the most important pillars in our framework as it is crucial in building public trust and confidence in government and health systems. Compliance has an enormous impact on prevention and stabilization during a health crisis. Appropriate, accurate and innovative communication about infectious disease surveillance, data, and best practices will encourage efforts to control the spread of disease.

There are many new examples of emerging technologies for infectious disease surveillance. Some of these recent technologies include wastewater surveillance, which has gained popularity through testing wastewater for COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2 levels, to determine infection rates[1]National Wastewater Surveillance System (NWSS) https://www.cdc.gov/nwss/wastewater-surveillance.html#:~:text=Wastewater%20surveillance%20 captures%20presence%20of,or%20decreasing%20 in%20a%20sewershed
.

Other examples of innovative technologies include digital epidemiology, syndromic surveillance, social media monitoring, and artificial intelligence or machine learning. Bizzell uses real-time technology such as eIDSR (under the DHIS2 and the CEBS) for data collection, record, analysis, and interpretation public health to assist with public health decision making. A strong surveillance program is one that can integrate the digitalization of the laboratory system which is the backbone for epidemiological surveillance.

Driving innovation in infectious disease surveillance is not just technological but strategy-based as an imperative for global and national health security. The ability to detect, monitor, and respond to health threats with more precision and innovation can be the difference between safeguarding the health, prosperity, and livelihood of future generations or succumbing to mass loss of life. Knowing this, we provide technical and professional support services in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to support the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Division of Global Health Protection (DGHP). We provide services and support in field epidemiology, surveillance, emergency management, and laboratory activities that enhance the CDC’s capacity to monitor and support the implementation of the DRC’s vision to promote a healthier, safer world that can prevent, detect, and respond to disease outbreaks and public health threats.

At Bizzell, we prioritize global solutions to health. We are committed to developing collaborative strategies, weaving together multidisciplinary approaches, strategic partnerships, and innovative technologies. By leveraging diverse expertise and fostering collaborations, Bizzell enhances global health outcomes, ensuring a comprehensive and unified response to complex health challenges. We hope that other health leaders duplicate the DMR framework for infectious disease surveillance as we all continue to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and other emerging threats.

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/nwss/wastewater-surveillance.html#:~:text=Wastewater%20surveillance%20captures%20presence%20of,or%20decreasing%20in%20a%20sewershed

Food Safety During Floods or Power Outages

Food Safety During Floods or Power Outages

By Editorial Staff

“Food safety involves everybody in the food chain.” – Mike Johanns [1]Brainy Quote. (2023). Mike Johanns quotes. https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/mike-johanns-quotes

 

Summer is almost over but there’s still time to gather outdoors for cookouts with friends and family, enjoying delicious food and other fun activities. All too often, though, summer rains can quickly dampen the excitement. Pop-up thunderstorms and torrential rains can quickly lead to a flooding catastrophe, especially for those living in low-lying areas or other places with a greater risk of flooding [2]Federal Emergency Management Agency. (n.d.). Flood. https://community.fema.gov/ProtectiveActions/s/article/Flood. In case of floods or power outages, make sure you and your household understand and practice food safety guidelines and procedures.

Preparation is key to keeping foods safe in the event of an emergency or power outage. Some of the steps you can take before one happens include:

However, sudden storms or power outages are not uncommon. In the event of a power outage, make sure to do the following:

  • Keep the fridge and freezer doors closed to keep the cold air inside. Most food items can last up to four hours if you avoid opening the door.

After a power outage, make sure to do the following:

  • Check the temperature of foods and throw out food that is above 40°F. Cook or refreeze any food that is 40°F or lower.
  • Throw away perishable food (e.g., meat, fish, dairy, and leftovers) if the power has been out for more than four hours or was in contact with flood waters. Don’t taste the food to see if it’s safe to eat. Just throw it away.

By following these food safety practices for power outages, including preparation, actions during the outage, and after power is restored, you can significantly reduce the chances of you or your loved ones developing a foodborne illness.

In addition to the guidelines above, here are further resources to help you prepare your food for an emergency.

References:

[1] Brainy Quote. (2023). Mike Johanns quotes. https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/mike-johanns-quotes
[2] Federal Emergency Management Agency. (n.d.). Flood. https://community.fema.gov/ProtectiveActions/s/article/Flood
[3] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022, October 27). Food Safety for Power Outages. https://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/food-safety-during-a-power-outage.html

Taking Charge: A Guide to Men’s Health Awareness

Taking Charge: A Guide to Men’s Health Awareness

 

By Bizzell Editorial Staff 

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2018, the leading causes of death for men of all races and ages were heart disease (24.3%), cancer (21.6%), and unintentional injuries (7.4%) [1]Heron M. Deaths: Leading causes for 2018. National Vital Statistics Reports; vol 70 no 4. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2021. DOI: https://doi.org/10.15620/cdc:104186. While men comprise about 50% of the US population, they account for nearly 80% of suicides. In 2021, men had a suicide rate nearly four times higher than that of women [2]Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2023, May 11). Suicide Data and Statistics. https://www.cdc.gov/suicide/suicide-data-statistics.html. 

June is observed as Men’s Health Month, a reminder that taking care of oneself is essential and that neglecting one’s health can lead to severe consequences. Men’s health issues have been a topic of concern for many years, and the month of June provides an opportunity to bring more awareness to them. 

Created in 1992 by the Men’s Health Network, Men’s Health Month encourages men to take charge of their health by making healthy lifestyle choices, such as eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and getting regular checkups. 

Why is Men’s Health Month important? 

According to a Harvard Medical School publication, men are more likely to die prematurely than women, and they are more likely to die from preventable causes. Men are also more likely to smoke, drink alcohol excessively, and be overweight or obese. It is crucial to spread awareness and provide resources to help men stay healthy. This June, let us encourage all men to take charge of their health and make positive changes in their lives. 

What can you do to celebrate Men’s Health Month? 

There are many things you can do to recognize Men’s Health Month. Here are a few ideas: 

  • Get a checkup. This is one of the most important things that men can do for their health. A regular checkup can help identify any health problems early on when they are most treatable. Check out these six routines screenings that all men should get. 
  • Talk to your doctor about your risk factors. Your doctor can help you understand your individual risk for certain health problems, such as heart disease, cancer, and stroke. They can also recommend ways to reduce your risk. 
  • Break the stigma around mental health. Men are less likely than women to seek help for mental health problems. It is essential to know the warning signs, break the stigma around mental health, and encourage men to seek help if they are struggling. 
  • Make healthy lifestyle changes. There are many measures that men can take to improve their health, such as eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep. 

Bizzell is committed to improving men’s health, through its work with the CDC Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, Public Health Professional Support Services at the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Bizzell supports the CDC’s Interactive Atlas of Heart Disease and Stroke production, which is published twice annually. This atlas shows data at the state and county levels concerning heart disease and stroke morbidity, mortality, access to care, risk factors, and risk reduction programs and policies. 

Bizzell continues to provide statistical analysis support to the CDC relating to heart disease, stroke prevention outcomes, and cardiovascular disease risk factors. In addition, Bizzell is conducting statistical analyses for use by members throughout the CDC that document both the burden of heart disease and stroke and the reach of existing programs and policies to reduce the burden of heart disease and stroke. 

This June serves as a reminder that taking proactive steps toward your health can lead to a life of vitality, happiness, and fulfillment. Together, let us continue to support and uplift one another on the journey to optimal health and well-being. 

 

[1] Heron M. Deaths: Leading causes for 2018. National Vital Statistics Reports; vol 70 no 4. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2021. DOI: https://doi.org/10.15620/cdc:104186  

[2] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2023, May 11). Suicide Data and Statistics. https://www.cdc.gov/suicide/suicide-data-statistics.html 

Bizzell Celebrates 10 Year Anniversary and Gives Back to Orphanage in Africa

Bizzell Celebrates 10 Year Anniversary and Gives Back to Orphanage in Africa

December 14, 2021 (New Carrollton, MD) – The Bizzell Group (Bizzell), an award-winning strategy, technology, and consulting firm, was featured in local media in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) for its global health and humanitarian focus and contributions to the Leve Moi Orphanage, an organization founded to serve children orphaned by natural disasters like the May 2021 Mount Nyiragongo volcano eruption, on-going political conflict and tension, and health epidemics including HIV/AIDS, Ebola, and COVID-19.

Bizzell donated 30 bunk beds, 60 mattresses, and dozens of mosquito nets to Leve Moi Orphanage. The donations, locally sourced from DRC businesses, will help the orphanage continue to serve the ongoing needs of the children in Goma, as they do not receive State funding and rely on the goodwill of donors like Bizzell to deliver essential services such as free education and meals. Leve Moi Orphanage serves nearly 500 children each day from the surrounding community and houses dozens of children overnight. During the trip to DRC, Dr. Anton C. Bizzell, President/CEO, and members from Bizzell’s Global leadership team, Yomi Jones, Vice President of Finance & Global Operations, and Rose Amolo, Director of Global Programs, traveled over 2000 miles from Kinshasa to Goma to visit the Leve Moi Orphanage. The children of Leve Moi welcomed, embraced, and thanked the Bizzell team through song and dance during the visit.

Learn more about this story as covered by local media in Goma: https://youtu.be/yNriMkva9CQ

                                               

Bizzell continued its 10 Year Anniversary celebration with its global staff in Kinshasa, honoring Bizzell’s DRC staff for their dedication to the firm’s global mission and international success. Dr. Bizzell addressed attendees at the celebration, noting Bizzell’s continued growth and global commitment, including expanding an initial two-person team into a global operation with representation in six countries around the world. In addition to Bizzell team members, other guests in attendance included staff from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Special Assistant to the President of DRC, Dr. Benjamin Bola, and other implementing partners and private sector representatives from Equity Bank and Vodacom.

Bizzell’s 10 Year Anniversary in DRC, combined with its philanthropic efforts continue to highlight and emphasize the firm’s focus on global expansion, addressing issues that improve the overall quality of life for people in low, emerging, and middle-income countries. DRC is the largest office in the Bizzell Global portfolio, with 13 staff implementing and supporting various global health protection activities including laboratory strengthening, health workforce development, early detection, treatment, and disease surveillance for Ebola, COVID-19, other epidemics and vaccine preventable diseases including Measles, Polio, Meningitis, Cholera, Monkey Pox.

About Bizzell

Established in 2010, Bizzell is a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) 8(a) strategy, consulting, and technology firm with a passion to improve lives and accelerate change. Bizzell develops innovative solutions to some of the most critical issues of our time, including the opioid, Ebola, and COVID-19 epidemics. Under the leadership and vision of founder, Dr. Anton C. Bizzell, the company has grown into a thriving firm headquartered in New Carrollton, Maryland with staff and offices in various regions around the world including California, Colorado, Georgia, Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean.