National ECDC Correspondents in the ENP partner countries and MediPIET National Focal points meet in their annual meeting

News story

On 5 October 2021, the Annual meeting of the National ECDC Correspondents in European Neighbourhood partner countries and Mediterranean and Black Sea Programme for Intervention Epidemiology Training (MediPIET) National Focal Points is taking place.

The specific objectives of the meeting are to:

  • Give an overview of the activities in the operational work packages of the EU Initiative on Health Security, including achievements, identified risks and list of priorities:
    • Work package 1: Workforce oriented capability building/MediPIET;
    • Work Package 2: Epidemic intelligence, risk assessment, preparedness and response;
    • Work Package 3: Integration into ECDC systems, knowledge sharing and networking.
  • Discuss and agree with National ECDC Correspondents the implementation of activities – challenges and priorities of the EU Initiative on Health Security
  • Present and discuss the draft work programme 2022 of the EU Initiative on Health Security.

As a result of this meeting, the National ECDC Coordinators and MediPIET National Focal Points will be fully aware of the status and benefits of the EU Initiative on Health Security and will be committed to continue active participation in the implementation of this programme. With the input received in the meeting, ECDC will finalise the work draft programme 2022.

Activities

In the framework of the EU Initiative on Health Security a range of activities were implemented during 2021.

In April-May 2021, ECDC held two basic trainings in Epidemic Intelligence and Rapid Risk Assessment. The training delivered in Russian was attended by experts from Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Ukraine and thein training in English was attended by participants from Georgia, Lebanon, Libya, Palestine*, and Tunisia. In addition to the basic training, ECDC offered training on Epitweetr: R-based automated open-source tool for early detection of public health threats from Twitter that was organised in June.

MediPIET Cohort 4 has kicked off, with 16 Fellows from 11 partner countries of the EU Initiative for Health Security to be trained together with EPIET/EUPHEM/EAP of the ECDC Fellowship Programme Cohort 2021. The MediPIET cohort already started in September and the first course is an introductory module aiming at provision of first insights into field epidemiology and public health microbiology techniques for communicable disease risk assessment and outbreak investigations, analysis of surveillance data, public health control measures and recommendations based on investigation or research findings, simple statistics methods to analyse epidemiological and laboratory data, etc.

In September, ECDC and FRONTEX with substantial support from the EU Healthy Gateways Joint Action organised a virtual regional workshop “Entry/Exit Screening – Science and Practice”. The event brought together around 70 representatives from the border management and public health authorities of the Southern Neighbourhood countries, the European Commission, and other international and regional organisations, such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the General Secretariat of the Arab Interior Ministers Council (AIMC).

Throughout the year several meetings with the partner countries took place to discuss bilateral cooperation within the EU Initiative on Health Security in 2021-2025.

*This designation shall not be construed as recognition of a State of Palestine and is without prejudice to the individual positions of the Member States on this issue.

EU Initiative on Health Security

The EU Initiative on Health Security aims to set up a regional workforce responsible for the prevention and control of challenges posed by communicable diseases and enhancing regional cooperation to tackle cross-border health security threats in EU candidate and potential candidates countries and European Neighbourhood Policy partner countries.