Disease Programmes Unit

The Disease Programmes Unit provides support related to specific diseases and public health issues to the EU Member States, EEA countries, the European Commission and other partners, thus strengthening EU-level and national disease-specific prevention and control programmes and initiatives. Through the disease networks, ECDC maintains a close link and an intensive dialogue with the national authorities and public health institutes in the countries, in coordination with the European Commission and the WHO Regional Office for Europe. The majority of ECDC’s outputs come from the Disease Programmes Unit, guided and supported by the Scientific Methods and Standards and Public Health Functions Units.

The Unit validates, analyses, and interprets surveillance data, assesses, and communicates the results to provide evidence for policymaking and action at the EU and country level, and improves surveillance systems for the respective diseases in collaboration with external partners (WHO and other EU or UN agencies). Furthermore, by providing scientific advice and tailored country support, it supports Member States in their efforts to combat cross-border health threats related to communicable diseases and to reach related EU and Global Action Plans and UN Sustainable Development Goal targets. Disease networks and other expert meetings for specific diseases and health conditions are held regularly for scientific discussions, information, and good practice exchange.

The Unit also coordinates work on two horizontal functions: One Health and Prevention and Behaviour Change.  Improved coordination of prevention activities in the EU is aimed at strengthening their effectiveness and impact on the health of EU citizens. Insights from the social and behavioural sciences are important to increase the acceptance of and compliance with public health interventions.

The Unit is divided into four sections:

  • Antimicrobial Resistance and Healthcare-Associated Infections (ARHAI)
  • Epidemic-Prone Diseases (EPR)
  • Sexually Transmitted Infections, Blood-Borne Viruses and TB (SBT)
  • Vaccine Preventable Diseases and Immunisation (VPI)
Page last updated 23 Sep 2022