20 May 2020
For several months now, the world has been gripped by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is obvious that international collaboration is key to combatting a global outbreak of this magnitude. Coordination and concerted action are needed, as well as the exchange of surveillance data and research outcomes. As the specialized United Nations agency for health, the World Health Organization (WHO) has a pivotal role in this, facilitating interaction and collaboration between all the member states, continuously monitoring the evolution of the pandemic, and developing guidance for member states to put in place appropriate measures. Read the full statement here.
19 May 2020
As COVID-19 poses an unprecedented challenge to all of us, it is vital that the measures adopted are human rights compliant and people-centered. The United Nations Human Rights Office (OHCHR) has created a dedicated webpage with human rights resources to inform and assist policy-makers with the COVID-19 response. New guidance and materials are uploaded on a daily basis.
12 May 2020
EUPHA and EPHA joint statement: Digitalisation to support an effective public health response to the COVID-19 emergency
The COVID-19 crisis is demonstrating the potential of digital health technology to manage some of our greatest public health challenges. In COVID-19 times, communicating the purpose, objectives and direction of digitalisation in public health is increasingly important as data-driven solutions become more common, presenting new ethical challenges. The access and affordability, inclusion, diversity and transparency, the intended and unintended effects around these new technological developments must also be critically addressed. To fully leverage digital innovation in public health, EPHA and EUPHA aim to create a
suitable environment for the introduction of emerging digital technologies, including by better informing policymakers about real societal needs and by training public health professionals, patients and other end users so they can effectively engage with digital tools in practice, policy and research.
Read the full statement here.
The COVID-19 Health System Response Monitor, a joint undertaking between the WHO Regional Office for Europe, the European Commission and the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, is a new online platform to provide countries and stakeholders in the WHO European Region with evidence of how national health systems are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. The website systematically maps and analyses health system responses to the pandemic across the Region. Thus, it offers cross-country comparisons for analyses of the measures being taken by national authorities and also tracks wider public health initiatives.
A cross-country analysis can be found here.
7 May 2020
Softening the blow of the pandemic: will the International Monetary Fund and World Bank make things worse?
This article was published in The Lancet Global News on 9 April. Click on the title to access the article.
22 April 2020
Statement EUPHA on Combatting COVID-19: the importance of sharing knowledge to create a comprehensive and publicly available evidence-base
The COVID-19 outbreak is affecting everyone worldwide, and policymakers, scientists and practitioners are exploring uncharted territory while trying to get to grips with this new virus. Especially in such times of great uncertainty, building on up-to-date and accurate information is crucial. Therefore, EUPHA released a statement on the importance of sharing data, research outcomes and experiences to build a common, growing body of intelligence. A comprehensive and publicly available evidence-base is key when battling the outbreak and saving lives.
24 March 2020
Reducing the impact of the coronavirus crisis on those ‘left behind’ – Disadvantaged Migrants and Ethnic Minorities (MEM).
The Migrant and Ethnic Minority Health section of EUPHA comprises of more than 1800 practitioners, scholars and researchers across Europe and beyond (81 countries). This statement and call for action has been prepared by the EUPHA MEM Section Steering Committee and others on behalf of the membership.
The Statement was kindly translated in Spanish and can be found here.
26 February 2020
In February 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) placed Disease X on the list of priority diseases in its research and development blueprint for action to prevent epidemics. According to the WHO, Disease X represents “the knowledge that a serious international epidemic could be caused by a pathogen currently unknown to cause human disease”. Exactly two years later, public health agencies and their partners around the world are preparing against and responding to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, caused by a previously unknown virus which was first detected in China in December 2019. As of February 25th 2020, the virus has already infected at least 80,239 individuals of which at least 279 (including 7 deaths) in Europe. As the umbrella organisation for public health associations in the European region, EUPHA stands with its members and colleagues in each country who are working tirelessly to detect and manage cases, identify contacts and prepare health services for worst-case scenarios. At a time where sustained transmission in places outside of China, including in some European countries, is looking increasingly likely, preparedness and surveillance remain critical. EUPHA is particularly watching the evolving situation in Italy, recognising that similar situations are likely to occur in other countries in the region.
Our understanding of the virus and its spread is changing every day, and critical information that impacts on how the outbreak can be managed is emerging every day. As such it remains essential that public health professionals and others involved in the management of the outbreak keep themselves up to date with the latest evidence to ensure evidence-based actions of maximum effectiveness. At the same time, the volume of information available can be overwhelming and misinformation, deliberate or not, can cause confusion. It is important therefore to obtain information from trustworthy sources. Regional and global public agencies, as well as scientific publishers have made key publications, data and guidelines freely available through regularly update portal and EUPHA recommends its members to regularly look for updates through the following sources:
For the latest global data, evidence and guidance:
For EU specific guidance, surveillance updates and risk assessments:
In addition, many scientific publishers are expediting the publication of COVID-19 related evidence and making it available free of charge. Examples include:
- The New England Journal of Medicine – https://www.nejm.org/coronavirus
- The Lancet – https://www.thelancet.com/coronavirus
- Eurosurveillance – https://www.eurosurveillance.org/content/2019-ncov
- Cambridge University Press – https://www.cambridge.org/core/news/free-access-to-coronavirus-research
- Elsevier – https://www.elsevier.com/connect/coronavirus-information-center
- Springer – https://www.springernature.com/gp/researchers/campaigns/coronavirus
You can also follow the outbreak and receive key new information through the EUPHA Infectious Diseases Control section Twitter account: @euphaidc.
EUPHA stands with its members through these challenging times and will continue to actively monitor the situation in order to offer the most appropriate support it can to all those currently involved in fighting this threat.
ASPHER provides a COVID-19 Resource Page, which includes information, communications and best practices from Schools of Public Health - both in English and local languages. https://www.aspher.org/covid-19-coronavirus-response.html