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The Middle East Consortium on Infectious Disease Surveillance (MECIDS) was created in November 2002 on the basis of recommendations made by Middle Eastern health and medical professionals participating in a Search for Common Ground meeting on regional cooperation on disease surveillance. Its vision is to promote long-term health, stability and security in the region.

MECIDS members and partners come from governments, universities, and non-governmental organizations.

MECIDS will build capacity within each nation to deal with a disease outbreak, whether naturally occurring or deliberately caused. In addition, we are building confidence-intangible human relationships that is helping to ease the relations on a daily basis and that is essential for managing a cross-border crisis.

The consortium's first project was to develop an enhanced foodborne disease surveillance system in Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinian territories. Participants are using this web site to share data routinely about the incidence of particular diseases such as Salmonella, and they will agree on procedures for communicating in the case of an outbreak that threatens their populations.

MECIDS members convene several times a year to update each other on recent developments in the health field, to renew their acquaintances, and to plan future activities. Meeting reports are available here.

At the annual MECIDS conference in January 2007, the MECIDS members took an important step towards transitioning to a self-sustaining consortium run by MECIDS members. During this meeting the MECIDS partners agreed upon a new governance structure, elected a MECIDS Executive Chairperson, and formed an Executive Board.

Search for Common Ground (SFCG) is providing staff support to MECIDS, including a Secretariat to MECIDS Executive Board who facilitates communication among consortium members, sets and monitors deadlines for action, and performs other functions as needed.

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About Us