The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is rolling back its epidemic prevention programs in 39 out of 49 countries due to a lack of funding, The Washington Post reported Friday.
Government officials told the Post that staffers abroad began receiving instructions about two weeks ago to start downsizing activities aimed at preventing epidemics.
Starting in October 2019, the CDC will only focus on 10 “priority countries:” India, Thailand, Vietnam, Jordan, Kenya, Uganda, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal and Guatemala.
Countries that will see scaled-back efforts include Congo, Haiti, Rwanda and China, all nations that are considered hot spots for potential epidemics.
The agency has $150 million remaining from that package, which will be spent during this and the next fiscal year, one official told the Post.
The funding for those programs had originated from a one-time emergency funding package passed by Congress in response to the 2014 Ebola epidemic, and is expected to run out in the fall of 2019.
Global health organizations have pushed for the CDC to continue funding the programs.
A coalition of health groups, representing more than 200 organizations and companies, called for Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar to reconsider cutting the funding in a letter Monday.
“Not only will CDC be forced to narrow its countries of operations, but the U.S. also stands to lose vital information about epidemic threats garnered on the ground through trusted relationships, real-time surveillance, and research,” the letter read.