Umeå scientists in EU workshop on cross-border threats from infectious diseases
Umeå University experts on infectious diseases participated in a European Commission-conducted workshop in Luxemburg, 19-21 September. The workshop focused on how to increase preparedness and response to vector-borne disease outbreaks. The expert gathering had a large focus on the hazards of climate change-driven spread of infectious diseases.
Organized as part of a large research consortium, the workshop also addressed inter-sectorial aspects of disease outbreak response including compiling the best scientific evidence for decision-making and sharing innovative approaches. Participants from Umeå University included infectious disease epidemiologists Dr. Osama Ahmed Hassan and Professor Birgitta Evengård at the Department of Clinical Microbiology. The university's representatives were invited by the European CBRNE Center to be among the expert consultants facilitating the workshop and developing case studies.
“This workshop is part of a larger ongoing mobilization of scientists against the threat of infectious diseases such as the Zika-, Chikungunya- and West Nile viruses. We are here to share evidence and good practices in order to improve and reinforce disease outbreak preparedness and coordination at both national and European Union levels,” said Osama Ahmed Hassan, who is an expert on vector-borne infectious diseases and member of the One Health Sweden network.
The workshop was organized within the framework of the CELESTE consortium (The Case studies, Exercises, Learning, Surveys and Training across Europe). The European CBRNE Center at Umeå University is one of four partners in the consortium. The CELESTE consortium has a framework agreement with the European Commission and is acting on a mission from the Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety.
“This preparatory workshop is an important part of a much-needed effort to strengthen health security at EU and global levels. We are glad that Umeå University continues to play such a leading role in this mobilization on an EU level,” said Birgitta Evengård, who is co-leader of the comprehensive Nordic climate and health research project, CLINF.