About GPHIN

Mission

GPHIN's mission is to be an indispensable source of early warning for potential public health threats worldwide including chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN).

Goal

Because time is of the essence, the goal is to use leading-edge communications technology and automated processes on a real-time 24/7 basis complemented by human analysis to monitor media sources worldwide and provide organized, relevant information to users allowing them to respond to potential health threats in a timely manner.

What is GPHIN?

The Global Public Health Intelligence Network (GPHIN) was set up as a global network of connected professionals working to rapidly detect, identify, assess, prevent and mitigate threats to human health. Formed in the late 1990s by the Government of Canada (Health Canada) in collaboration with the World Health Organization, GPHIN is headquartered at the Public Health Agency of Canada in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, with members both nationally and globally. To facilitate its activities, an automated Web-based system, accessible to members of the network, was developed to help collect, collate and filter media reports from around the globe.

As a unique Heath Portfolio source for all-hazards intelligence, GPHIN supports risk assessments by Health Portfolio programs and other federal departments through early alerting. GPHIN fulfils Canada’s IHR core capacity obligation for event-based surveillance and also supports the global health and health security communities through its capacity for early threat detection. GPHIN has therefore been deemed a critical program area supporting Canada’s health security and intelligence mandates for early detection, analysis, risk assessment, and communication of potential and emerging threats to human health. It has been recognised as a Big Data pioneer in public health, a significant contributor to global health security and a global situational awareness network for emerging public health risks.

What types of surveillance does GPHIN conduct?

GPHIN has a broad public health scope. Presently, it tracks events such as disease outbreaks, infectious diseases, contaminated food and water, bioterrorism and exposure to chemicals, natural disasters, and issues related to the safety of products, drugs and medical devices and radioactive agents.

Who uses GPHIN?

Users include non-governmental agencies and organizations, as well as government authorities who conduct 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 by timely and appropriate response.

Who manages GPHIN?

GPHIN is managed by the Public Health Agency of Canada’s (PHAC) 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 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.

Development of the Multilingual GPHIN System

This system is developed in collaboration with the Text Analytics group at National Research Council Canada (NRC) in Ottawa, Canada.

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