This year celebrates 15 years of successful cooperation between the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and WHO/Europe, at a time when COVID-19 continues to underscore the importance of establishing strong partnerships.
“WHO’s partnership with ECDC is a stellar example of what can be achieved when we join forces and work towards a common goal,” stressed Dr Hans Henri P. Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe. “Most of our achievements over recent months can be credited to collaboration, including building strong alliances and playing to each other’s strengths.”
Looking ahead, the plans for joint and collaborative activities in 2021 include special arrangements linked to the COVID-19 response, such as joint vaccination coverage monitoring, vaccine effectiveness studies and sharing of best practices regarding the rollout of COVID-19 vaccination.
A fruitful and continuing collaboration
“A coordinated and mutually complementary response to the COVID-19 pandemic is a result of more than 15 years of successful cooperation between ECDC and WHO,” explained Dr Andrea Ammon, ECDC Director. To keep this fruitful collaboration going, ECDC and WHO/Europe are using annual strategic planning to align their many activities and deliverables.
In March 2021, ECDC and WHO/Europe produced and published a joint report on tuberculosis surveillance and monitoring in Europe. In November 2021, a joint report on HIV/AIDS surveillance in Europe and the first joint ECDC–WHO/Europe report on antimicrobial resistance surveillance in Europe will also be published.
Apart from regular joint reports, ECDC and WHO/Europe will continue close collaboration on surveillance of other infectious diseases such as hepatitis and influenza, for which results are reflected in the joint weekly bulletin Flu News Europe.
Several activities in the areas of food, water, vector-borne diseases and sexually transmitted infections are also envisaged to take place throughout this year.