THE CDC is a collaborating center for 40 programs of the World Health Organization, an independent arm of the United Nations based in Geneva, Switzerland.
No institution in the world hosts as many collaborating centers for the United Nations unit. Some of the CDC centers act as the sole World Health Organization center for a particular subject area, but most are part of an international group of centers.
Collaborating centers provide assistance to other countries and act as advisors to the World Health Organization on specific problems. Laboratory centers receive specimens from all over the world.
New collaborating centers are established at the request of World Health Organization officials and on the approval of the CDC director. With the center comes "considerable responsibility and a tiny bit of money," says Walter Dowdle, PhD, the CDC's former acting director and himself a consultant to the world organization. He says most centers