EU Health Task Force (EUHTF)
Functions of the EU Health Task Force
The EUHTF will support EU/EEA countries, other partner countries and international organisations in the following areas.
Timely emergency response during outbreaks and crises related to communicable diseases or diseases of unknown origin including:
- remote support and rapid in-country field deployment,
- support for outbreak investigations and response,
- provision of science-based recommendations,
- support for operational research and
- provision of guidance, protocols, resources, and tools.
Strengthening countries' emergency preparedness including:
- development, testing and updating of preparedness protocols and plans,
- assessment of preparedness gaps through self-assessments and external evaluation of country preparedness and response planning,
- simulation exercises,
- in-and-after action reviews,
- tailored capacity-building activities and trainings.
Activities outside of the EU/EEA will be operationalised in collaboration with the European Commission, in particular DG ECHO, and/or the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN).
ECDC podcast episode
ECDC: On Air - Episode 38 - A Health Emergency Task Force
Podcast episode with insights on the process of building an EU Health Task Force to mobilise and deploy outbreak assistance teams and to strengthen preparedness capacities.
The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed shortcomings in the European Union mechanisms for managing public health threats, including a lack of readily available resources for timely deployment to emergency settings.
The strengthened ECDC mandate establishes the creation of an EU Health Task Force (EUHTF) as a deployable public health work force providing effective operational response and crisis preparedness support to EU/EEA countries and wider global health security. The Task Force will support countries and international organisations in responding to emergencies during outbreaks and crises in a timely manner.
ECDC will establish and coordinate the EUHTF, with the support and collaboration of the European Commission, EU/EEA countries, and international organisations.