Priority actions at EU level for preparedness and response of malaria in affected and potentially at risk countries in the EU are suggested in the Meeting report: Consultation on Plasmodium vivax transmission risk in Europe, issued today.
The report describes the outcome of an expert consultation on Plasmodium vivax transmission in Europe on 17 and 18 January 2012. The meeting was organised by ECDC in response to the malaria outbreak in Greece in 2011, with the aim to assess the malaria transmission risk in Europe and propose possible preventive measures.
The experts confirmed the need to develop an integrated preparedness and response plan for local malaria transmission for EU countries at risk, which was one of the recommendations of the assessment missions by ECDC and WHO in Greece in 2011.
Particular actions to enhance the collection and exchange of information on malaria between the countries could be setting up an EU system for communication on epidemiological signals (e.g. EPIS) and exchange of feedback from outbreak investigations. A European network for external quality assessment should be initiated, to improve the quality of malaria laboratory diagnosis in the EU. ECDC can help the Member States to identify risk areas by providing updated maps on the distribution of anopheline mosquitoes. Other recommendations in the report are close collaboration with WHO and the inclusion of malaria in the ECDC work on migrant health.
Meeting report: Consultation on Plasmodium vivax transmission risk in Europe