ECDC signs memorandum of understanding with Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency

Press release
13 Dec 2021

On 13 December 2021, during a virtual event, Dr. Andrea Ammon, Director of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and Mr. Heon Joo Kim, Vice Commissioner of the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the two agencies.

Dr. Andrea Ammon (ECDC) and Mr. Heon Joo Kim (KDCA) sign memorandum of understanding.

The objective of this MoU is to deepen and expand the technical collaboration between ECDC and KDCA on matters of mutual interest in the field of communicable disease control and prevention, with a focus on health security. This cooperation will be achieved through information exchange and increased collaboration.

Dr. Ammon said: “The current pandemic has revealed more than ever the importance of strong international cooperation with partners across the globe and the need to share data and knowledge to understand and respond to new threats. Building new partnerships internationally will contribute to ECDC’s work to better support the EU Member States of the European Union, improving health security in the EU and globally. KDCA is an important partner and with a cooperation agreement in place, our agencies can strengthen their collaboration and work together to address serious threats from communicable diseases that are inherently cross-border.”

Vice Commissioner Kim said: “Just as the two institutions have been cooperating thus far, we look forward to more active mutual cooperation through information exchange, the hosting of regular consultations, personnel exchange and training in the field of communicable disease prevention and control, as we sign the MoU today.”

The areas of mutual interest for cooperation under this MoU include epidemic intelligence - sharing information rapidly, particularly in the event of a public health emergency; public health emergency preparedness and response; surveillance and control of epidemic-prone diseases; health risk assessments; laboratory capacity-building and enhancement to detect and respond to emerging disease threats of global health importance; antimicrobial resistance and healthcare-associated infections; vaccine-preventable diseases and immunisation; emerging, food-, water- and vector-borne diseases; zoonotic diseases; coronavirus/influenza and other respiratory infections; sexually-transmitted infections; blood-borne viruses; tuberculosis and public health training.

From 2022 onwards, ECDC and KDCA plan to work together to identify forms of cooperation and expand dialogue (including policy dialogue) and exchanges between experts.

Background information

The ECDC Strategy 2021−2027 includes a goal of contributing to increased health security in the European Union through international collaboration and alignment of infectious disease policies and practice. This goal will be achieved via Strategic Objective 4 - ‘Increase health security in the EU through strengthened cooperation and coordination between ECDC and partners in non-EU countries’.

This strategic objective calls for increased cooperation with major centres for disease prevention and control (CDCs) among other international partners. ECDC has established bilateral relations with several CDCs at global level. Memoranda of Understanding were signed in 2007 with the United States CDC, China’s CDC, and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). In 2012, an administrative agreement was signed with Israel’s CDC and more recently, in June 2021, an MoU was signed with the Ministry of Health of Mexico.

For further inquiries

ECDC Press Office: / +46 (0)8 58 60 16 78

KDCA Press Office: / +82 (0)10-5405-9731