Inside a Secret Government Warehouse Prepped for Health Catastrophes

NPR’s Morning Edition recently reported about a secret government warehouse, critical for responding and restoring public health in the face of serious medical emergencies. Known as the CDC’s Strategic National Stockpile (SNS), this warehouse contains large amounts of medicine, medical supplies, and shipping containers, all for the purpose of mass distribution to areas affected by bioterrorist, chemical, or nuclear attacks.

The story provides an overview on SNS logistics, history, and structure, including its managing entity, the Public Health Emergency Medical Countermeasures Enterprise (PHEMCE), which decides the type and amount of medicine and supplies making up the stockpile. Key challenges related to properly maintaining this crucial resource are also discussed. These include increased cuts to local health department funding and a stagnant budget for the stockpile, both highlighted as contributing factors to a growing strain on sustaining the necessary management and delivery capacity for the SNS. Read and hear the full story, here.

 

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