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The European Public Health Association
Newsletter - November 2020

Newsletter - November 2020

  1. Editorial
  2. EUPHA update
  3. European Public Health Conference
  4. EUPHA members update
  5. European Journal of Public Health
  6. Call for proposals, job opportunities
  7. Interesting news
  8. Upcoming courses and conferences
  9. Interesting publications
  10. European Commission news
  11. European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control news
  12. WHO news

1. Editorial

We are still in the midst of the second wave of COVID-19 in Europe and we really hope that the strict measures taken in so many European countries will halt the pandemic. The positive news is, of course, the promising COVID-19 vaccines and we hope they will be available to everybody as soon as possible. In the meantime, we will continue to strive for a healthy population in Europe and around the world from home. In this newsletter, we are updating you on numerous activities, actions and (digital) conferences to keep you up-to-date on public health. 

Wishing you pleasant reading, 

Iveta Nagyova, EUPHA president, and Dineke Zeegers Paget, EUPHA executive director

2. EUPHA update

EUPHA statement on Deliberative collaboration between sectors is needed

In November 2020, EUPHA has provided input to the European Commission's call for feedback on the 3rd health programme. In its reaction, EUPHA appreciated the results achieved by the 3rd health programme and emphasised the continued importance of intersectoral collaboration for ensuring that everyone in Europe can achieve the highest possible level of health, now and in the future. This statement reflects on EUPHA's input highlighting the need to be deliberatively collaborative.

E-collection on cancer prevention and screening

We are pleased to announce that our new e-collection on cancer prevention and screening is now available on the EJPH webpage. This e-collection, developed by EUPHA-CHR and our German members, particularly focuses on risk factors for cancer, the use of cancer screening, and the role Europe should play in beating cancer.

EUPHAnxt coordinator - 2020

This month, we said goodbye to Pasquale Cacciatore, our EUPHAnxt coordinator. He has represented this network of the younger generation with great energy,  both at the first online edition of the European Public Health Week and at the 16th World Congress on Public Health. Thank you Pasquale for your dedicated work, we wish you all the best in your future career!

He hands over to Monica Brinzac, EUPHAnxt former Conference manager. Welcome Monica, we are very pleased to have you on board as the general EUPHAnxt coordinator.

Urška Erklavec at the Annual Assembly of European Phamaceutical Students' Association

Urška Erklavec, vice-president of the EUPHA Food and Nutrition section, organised a workshop on promoting a healthy lifestyle in children at the Annual Assembly of European Pharmaceutical Students’ Association on 5th November 2020. The workshop focused on commercial determinants of health, mostly on "Big Food" and their marketing strategies to sell more ultra-processed foods. Best practices from around the world on food labelling, taxation, marketing bans and on food environments in schools were showcased. The workshop finished with basic concepts of design thinking and good prevention.

Anna Odone appointed Full Professor of Public Health at the University of Pavia

Anna Odone, president of EUPHA-DH, has been appointed Full Professor of Public Health at the University of Pavia. This makes her the youngest female professor in Italy.  EUPHA congratulates her with this next step in her career and is very pleased that she continues her remarkable work for EUPHA.

No dreams for a European Health Union without a triple WWW EU4Health Programme

Ahead of the trilogue negotiation process, public interest civil society organisations of the EU4Health Civil Society Alliance including EUPHA, call on the national governments, European Parliament and the European Commission to make their best efforts during the upcoming, complex negotiations process, to ensure a well-resourced, well-designed and well-governed EU4Health Programme with meaningful involvement of civil society.

3. European Public Health Conference

14th European Public Health Conference, 10 - 13 November 2021

Next year’s European Public Health (EPH) Conference will be held from 10 to 13 November 2021. We sincerely hope to host an in-person conference in Dublin, Ireland. But as we are still living in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are also looking into options of organizing a virtual or hybrid conference. One thing we are sure of is that the conference will take place and as always you are welcome to the 14th EPH Conference. Check our website for any updates.

Abstract submission
Abstract submission for the 14th EPH Conference is open from 1 February until 1 May 2021. The EPH Conference offers excellent opportunities to learn from the latest research and practice, to network with experts and colleagues and to expand your professional horizons. Abstracts are invited for workshops and single presentations in all areas of public health research, practice, policy and education. Abstracts are considered for oral, pitch and poster presentations. Workshop proposals are considered for 60- or 90-minutes sessions. Do not miss the opportunity to share your work at the largest public health event in Europe. Check our website for any updates.

16th World Congress on Public Health - WCPH2020

WCPH2020 Abstract supplement
All registered delegates of WCPH2020 can read the Abstract Supplement of the European Journal of Public Health (EJPH) and the EJPH itself, including its massive archive, free of charge until 31 December 2020. This service is offered by the publisher of the EJPH - Oxford University Press - and EUPHA. You can access the EJPH and the Abstract Supplement, with more than 2,000 abstracts of the congress, by logging in with your EUPHA/EPH Conference account details here.

4. EUPHA members update

Dutch Public Health Federation co-signs a call to increase the health literacy of Dutch citizens

The president and director of the Dutch Public Health Federation co-signed a letter to the Ministry of health on 11 November 2020. In this letter [in Dutch], a call to increase health literacy of Dutch citizens was made, emphasizing the positive effect a healthy lifestyle has on the immune system.

The Faculty of public health, University of Pleven, Bulgaria: Jubilee conference

The Faculty of public health of the University of Pleven, Bulgaria, housing our Bulgarian member, has organised a Jubilee Scientific Conference on 26 November 2020. Dr Iveta Nagyova, our EUPHA president, opened this conference. Prof Gena Grancharova, president of the Bulgarian Public Health Association, was the vice-chair of the Conference.  

5. European Journal of Public Health

Advance articles - November 2020

Psychosocial health of adolescents in relation to underweight, overweight/obese status: the EU NET ADB survey
Georgia Drosopoulou, Theodoros N Sergentanis, Georgios Mastorakos, Elpis Vlachopapadopoulou, Stefanos Michalacos, Chara Tzavara, Flora Bacopoulou, Theodora Psaltopoulou, Artemis Tsitsika

Brief alcohol intervention at a municipal registry office: reach and retention
Caroline E Enders, Andreas Staudt, Jennis Freyer-Adam, Christian Meyer, Sabina Ulbricht, Ulrich John, Sophie Baumann

Correlates of the use of electronic devices to vape cannabis in a cohort of young Swiss male reporting current cannabis use
Daniel Fuster, Joseph Studer, Gerhard Gmel, Nicolas Bertholet

Retirement status and frailty: a cross-sectional study of the phenotype of manual workers aged 50–70 years
Kristoffer L Norheim, Henrik Bøggild, Johan Hviid Andersen, Øyvind Omland, Jakob H Bønløkke, Pascal Madeleine

Excess mortality from COVID-19:. Weekly excess death rates by age and sex for sweden and its most affected region
Karin Modig, Anders Ahlbom, Marcus Ebeling

Sleep pattern in the US and 16 European countries during the COVID-19 outbreak using crowdsourced smartphone data
Paul H Lee, Jan Marek, Petr Nálevka

Development and validation of a questionnaire to assess Unaccompanied Migrant Minors’ needs (AEGIS-Q)
Maria Luisa Di Pietro, Drieda Zaçe, Leuconoe Grazia Sisti, Emanuela Maria Frisicale, Alice Corsaro, Andrea Gentili, Luca Giraldi, Stefania Bruno, Stefania Boccia

Physical activity and emotional-behavioural difficulties in young people: a longitudinal population-based cohort study
Andrea K Bowe, Colm Healy, Mary Cannon, Mary B Codd

Trends in adolescent drinking across 39 high-income countries: exploring the timing and magnitude of decline
Rakhi Vashishtha, Amy Pennay, Paul Dietze, Melvin Barrientos Marzan, Robin Room, Michael Livingston

Sleep pattern in the US and 16 European countries during the COVID-19 outbreak using crowdsourced smartphone data
Paul H Lee, Jan Marek, Petr Nálevka 

Are women satisfied with their experience with breast cancer screening? Systematic review of the literature
Federica Pagliarin, Liisa Pylkkanen, Minna Salakari, Silvia Deandrea

The contribution of employment and working conditions to occupational inequalities in non-communicable diseases in Europe
Courtney L McNamara, Marlen Toch-Marquardt, Viviana Albani, Terje A Eikemo, Clare Bambra

Determinants of inequalities in years with disability: an international-comparative study
Wilma J Nusselder, José Rubio Valverde, Matthias Bopp, Henrik Brønnum-Hansen, Patrick Deboosere, Ramune Kalediene, Katalin Kovács, Mall Leinsalu, Pekka Martikainen, Gwenn Menvielle, Enrique Regidor, Bodgan Wojtyniak, Johan P Mackenbach

Impact of a nutrition education programme on free sugar intake & nutrition-related knowledge in fifth-grade schoolchildren
Eva Winzer, Maria Wakolbinger, Manuel Schätzer, Karin Blagusz, Anita Rieder, Monika Lechleitner, Friedrich Hoppichler

A scoping review of qualitative research on perceptions of one’s own alcohol use
Stephanie Morris, Duncan Stewart, Mary Madden, Jim McCambridge

Validity of self-reported mammography uptake in the Belgian health interview survey: selection and reporting bias
Finaba Berete, Johan Van der Heyden, Stefaan Demarest, Rana Charafeddine, Jean Tafforeau, Herman Van Oyen, Olivier Bruyère, Françoise Renard

Book Review. Richard Horton: The COVID-19 Catastrophe. What’s Gone Wrong and How to Stop it Happening Again?
Peter Allebeck

Home and away: mortality among Finnish-born migrants in Sweden compared to native Swedes and Finns residing in Finland
Olof Östergren, Kaarina Korhonen, Nina-Katri Gustafsson, Pekka Martikainen

Distance from the outbreak of infection, ozone pollution and public health consequences of SARS-CoV-2 epidemic
Giovanni Tripepi, Mario Plebani, Giorgio Iervasi, Mercedes Gori, Daniela Leonardis, Graziella D’Arrigo, Maria Fusaro

Pregnant under the pressure of a pandemic: a large-scale longitudinal survey before and during the COVID-19 outbreak
Elin Naurin, Elias Markstedt, Dietlind Stolle, Daniel Enström, Anton Wallin, Ingrid Andreasson, Birgitta Attebo, Ottilia Eriksson, Klara Martinsson, Helen Elden, Karolina Linden, Verena Sengpiel

Dose–response association between adult height and all–cause mortality: a systematic review and meta–analysis of cohort studies
Quanman Li, Yu Liu, Xizhuo Sun, Honghui Li, Cheng Cheng, Leilei Liu, Feiyan Liu, Qionggui Zhou, Chunmei Guo, Gang Tian, Ranran Qie, Minghui Han, Shengbing Huang, Linlin Li, Bingyuan Wang, Yang Zhao, Yongcheng Ren, Ming Zhang, Dongsheng Hu, Jian Wu, Jie Lu

Did the introduction and increased prescribing of antidepressants lead to changes in long-term trends of suicide rates?
Simone Amendola, Martin Plöderl, Michael P Hengartner

6. Call for proposals, job opportunities

Postdoc / Research Scientist Positions at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR)

The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) is seeking to appoint several full-time post-doctoral research scientists to join the Laboratory of Population Health, the Research Group on Labor Demography, or the Laboratory of Fertility and Well-Being.

7. Interesting news

Social media can guide public pandemic policy, research finds

Science Daily | 05 November 2020

As global cases of COVID-19 fast approach 50 million, a team of Australian, Afghan, Iranian and Italian researchers examined more than 35,000 tweets and say social media analytics can capture the attitudes and perceptions of the public during a pandemic. They also suggest social media is now the best way to encourage people to follow measures and restrictions which have, in turn, triggered an increase in the use of digital technologies and platforms.
Source: Queensland University of Technology

EHFG 2020: Conference Outcomes

The European Health Forum Gastein took place a month ago, and today, the organisers are pleased to share with you a summary of the outcomes of the conference, in the form of an electronic book.
Access the ebook here, or rewatch the videos of the event.

EU4Health: MEPs pave the way for an effective EU health programme

COVID-19 has shown that the EU urgently needs an ambitious programme to ensure that European health systems can face future health threats, so that the EU remains the healthiest region in the world, MEPs say. According to Parliament, this would not have been possible had the budget been reduced to €1.7 billion as proposed by member states. In the recent compromise on the EU’s long-term budget, MEPs convinced them to triple the budget for the programme (€5.1 billion).

[Interview] Covid-19: how is the EU doing on health?

Pascal Canfin, chair of Parliament's environment and public health committee, talks about how the EU has managed the health aspects of the coronavirus crisis.
"A Europe that protects also means tackling the fact that health and environment are bound together. Many experts have already warned of the links between climate change and pandemics."

Pharma companies must open their books on the funding agreements for covid-19 vaccines

The BMJ | Opinion
Pharmaceutical corporations must open their books, make all funding and licensing agreements public, and substantiate any no-profit claims with data. We know that pharma does not tend to share this information willingly, so it is time for governments to take charge, demand transparency, and put their commitments to equitable access of covid-19 vaccines into action.

The Thousand and One Natural Shocks of COVID-19

Though we remain very much in the midst of the pandemic—with projections of a rough winter to come—it’s important to think about what comes after COVID-19. Specifically, how can decision-makers support programs to help people move past this once-in-a-lifetime disruptive event? And how have mental health services and barriers to care changed as a result of COVID-19? Is there anything to learn from the adjustments forced upon us by the pandemic?

Four reasons why we need multiple vaccines for Covid-19

Having a range of Covid-19 vaccines available for people to use around the world will be essential to bringing the pandemic under control. Here’s why.
1. We need a range of vaccines that can work for a range of people
2. We need to produce billions of vaccine doses to protect those most at risk
3. We need vaccines that can reach everyone, everywhere
4. We need vaccines that are available to all countries and supported through COVAX

The Global Launch of the 2020 Lancet Countdown Report

The links between health and climate change are undeniable. 120 world-leading experts, including authors from 38 academic institutions and UN agencies spanning every continent have looked at more than 40 indicators for the 2020 Report of the Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change.
The results will be presented on 3rd December at 3pm CET, online.
Register here

The Academic Response to COVID-19

COVID-19 has posed an unprecedented challenge to the international scientific community. Along with the disruption faced by most of the world's population, many researchers have felt an added pressure to understand, cure and mitigate the virus. In order to gain insight into what impact COVID-19 has had on the international scientific community, their work and the implications for science, the authors conducted a survey with editors, reviewers and authors in May and June 2020. In one of the largest academic surveys ever conducted, 25,307 members of the academic community participated, representing diverse countries, roles, and areas of research.
Read the report based on the survey here

Air quality in Europe - 2020 report

EEA Report No 11/2020
The Air quality in Europe report, published by the European Environment Agency, provides an annual assessment of the status and impacts of air quality and recent air quality trends. The report supports policy development and implementation in the field of air quality at both European and national levels.

ENSP-ECTC webinars

During the months of November and December ENSP is organising a series of ECTC webinars which are the online symposia on various topics including the tobacco industry tactics, novel products epidemic, smoking cessation, and illicit tobacco trade.

The Spanish manifesto on heated tobacco products and e-cigarettes

The National Committee for the Prevention of Smoking (CNPT) and the General Council of Official Associations of Physicians (CGCOM) have presented the ‘Manifesto on novel tobacco products’, a text prepared by 167 experts that warns about the practices of the tobacco industry to promote heated tobacco and e-cigarette products as alternatives to conventional tobacco.
Read the manifesto (in Spanish)
Read a summary on the ENSP website

Alexandra Freeman: The strange world of risk perception, and communicating risks

Risks are subjective. Our job as communicators is only to try to show them the risk as clearly as possible and under many different lights (contexts/ways of looking at it) so that they can see it objectively clearly and that their subjective perception is as little skewed as possible by the way we have shown it to them.

8. Upcoming courses and conferences

Winter Symposium 2020: From Manufacturer to Patient: Reshaping Healthcare Supply Chains
1 Dec 2020 / Parterre Rialto Basel, Switzerland
Organiser: Swiss TPH

The 10th International Conference on Children's Health and the Environment
1 Dec 2020 - 3 Dec 2020 / Amsterdam, Netherlands
Organiser: INCHES

Health inequalities in childhood and adolescence: current theoretical framework & empirical results
4 Dec 2020 / Online event
Organiser: Research Unit 2723

1st Conference of the Swiss Implementation Science Network (IMPACT)
21 Jan 2021 - 22 Jan 2021 / Basel, Switzerland
Organiser: Swiss TPH

Health Care and Management (HCM): From Research to Implementation
8 Mar 2021 - 11 Jun 2021 / Basel, Switzerland
Organiser: Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute

22 Mar 2021 - 24 Mar 2021 / Philadelphia, USA
Organiser: Global Law Enforcement & Public Health

9th Annual International Conference on Health & Medical Sciences
3 May 2021 - 4 May 2021 / Athens, Greece
Organiser: Athens Institute for Education and Research (ATINER)

10th Europaediatrics 2021
10 Jun 2021 - 12 Jun 2021 / Zagreb, Croatia
Organiser: EPA / UNEPSA with European Confederation of Primary Care Paediatricians

annual summer short course: Exploring the Linkages between Mental Well-Being and Physical Health Outcomes
12 Jul 2021 - 16 Jul 2021 / London, United Kingdom
Organiser: The Lee Kum Sheung Center for Health and Happiness and the Research Department of Behavioural Science and Health

5th European Summer School in Evidence-Based Public Health
19 Jul 2021 - 23 Jul 2021 / Munich, Germany
Organiser: LMU Munich and University of Liverpool

16th Annual meeting and 11th conference of HEPA Europe (WHO/Europe network for the promotion of health-enhancing physical activity)
1 Sep 2021 - 3 Sep 2021 / Nice, France
Organiser: HEPA Europe

Global Health Literacy Summit
3 Oct 2021 - 5 Oct 2021 / International Health Literacy Association, E-DA Healthcare Group, I-Shou University
Organiser: Kaohsiung, Taiwan

9. Interesting publications

Building resilient societies after COVID-19: the case for investing in maternal, neonatal, and child health

The Lancet | Viewpoint | November 2020
Resilient societies respond rapidly and effectively to health challenges and the associated economic consequences, and adapt to be more responsive to future challenges. Although it is only possible to recognise resilience retrospectively, the COVID-19 pandemic has occurred at a point in human history when, uniquely, sufficient knowledge is available on the early-life determinants of health to indicate clearly that a focus on maternal, neonatal, and child health (MNCH) will promote later resilience.

UN Research Roadmap for the COVID-19 Recovery - Leveraging the Power of Science for a More Equitable, Resilient and Sustainable Future

This Roadmap aims to: 

  • Ensure the COVID-19 recovery is informed by the best available research;
  • Support learning from early response efforts to inform later recovery efforts;
  • Bring renewed focus to the systemic issues highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the marginalized populations most affected by the crisis; and
  • Enable international scientific collaboration through a unifying global framework.

Ageing Europe -- Looking at the lives of older people in the EU -- 2020 edition

Eurostats | 5 November 2020
This second edition of Ageing Europe — looking at the lives of older people in the EU provides a broad range of statistics that describe the everyday lives of the European Union’s (EU) older generations.
Figures covering the total population do not always reveal the full and sometimes complex picture of what is happening at a more detailed level within society. Looking at various socioeconomic statistics by age promotes a better understanding of intergenerational differences and also allows us to draw a detailed picture of the daily lives of older people across the EU. New to this edition is an added gender dimension to many of the statistical indicators.

The democratic, political, and scientific failures of covid-19

The BMJ | 5 November 2020 | Editor's choice
Author: Kamran Abbasi

The evidence for the health benefits of democracy is well established, but democracies are being eroded or “autocratised.” Presidents and ruling cabals use democracy to gain power and then abuse democracy to retain it. A new study finds that this autocratisation is bad for health. It might partly explain why many democracies are responding poorly to the coronavirus pandemic.

Enhancing the use of stakeholder analysis for policy implementation research: towards a novel framing and operationalised measures

The BMJ Global Health | Original Research | 6 November 2020
Policy is shaped and influenced by a diverse set of stakeholders at the global, national and local levels. While stakeholder analysis is a recognised practical tool to assess the positions and engagement of actors relevant to policy, few empirical studies provide details of how complex concepts such as power, interest and position are operationalised and assessed in these types of analyses. This study aims to address this gap by reviewing conceptual approaches underlying stakeholder analyses and by developing a framework that can be applied to policy implementation in low-and-middle income countries.

Lessons learnt from easing COVID-19 restrictions: an analysis of countries and regions in Asia Pacific and Europe

The Lancet | Health Policy | November 2020
Governments worldwide now face the common challenge of easing lockdowns and restrictions while balancing various health, social, and economic concerns. To facilitate cross-country learning, this Health Policy paper uses an adapted framework to examine the approaches taken by nine high-income countries and regions that have started to ease COVID-19 restrictions: five in the Asia Pacific region (ie, Hong Kong [Special Administrative Region], Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, and South Korea) and four in Europe (ie, Germany, Norway, Spain, and the UK).

First human efficacy study of a plant-derived influenza vaccine

The Lancet | Commentary | November 2020
The field of plant-derived vaccines has grown a lot in the past 28 years, since it was first shown that viral proteins could be expressed in plants. There is one licensed plant-derived human therapeutic for Gaucher's disease, but this is the first time a plant vaccine has been tested in a clinical trial. It is a milestone for this technology and sows the seeds for other plant-based vaccines and therapeutics.

The Lancet Commission on diabetes: using data to transform diabetes care and patient lives

The Lancet Commission | 13 November 2020
Ahead of World Diabetes Day, this Lancet Commission on diabetes has provided a blueprint for closing gaps in diabetes prevention, care, professional knowledge, and data that could save millions of lives.

Covid-19: politicisation, "corruption," and suppression of science

The BMJ | Editorial
Science is being suppressed for political and financial gain. Covid-19 has unleashed state corruption on a grand scale, and it is harmful to public health. Politicians and industry are responsible for this opportunistic embezzlement. So too are scientists and health experts. The pandemic has revealed how the medical-political complex can be manipulated in an emergency—a time when it is even more important to safeguard science.

Changes in prolonged sedentary behaviour across the transition to retirement

The BMJ | Occupational & Environmental Medicine | 17 November 2020
Prolonged sedentary behaviour is associated with a higher risk of cardiometabolic diseases. This longitudinal study examined changes in daily total, prolonged (≥30 min) and highly prolonged (≥60 min) sedentary time across the transition to retirement by gender and occupational status.

Global Tobacco Industry Interference Index 2020

The Global Tobacco Industry Interference Index (Global Tobacco Index) is a review of how governments are responding to influences from the tobacco industry and protecting their public health policies from commercial interests as required under the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC).
Read the 2020 edition here

Mitigating the global health threat of violent conflict: a preventive framework

The BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health
This article, explains why large-scale violent conflict is a major global health concern, elaborate on the field’s tendency to study the aftermath of conflict, and offer novel ways for global health researchers and practitioners to contribute to conflict prevention. These perspectives derive from the Harvard International Negotiation Program’s research and fieldwork as well as from the corresponding author’s experiences consulting in high-stakes conflicts in the Middle East, Europe, North America and East Asia.

Exploring the Twitter activity around the eighth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control

The BMJ Tobacco Control | 11 November 2020
This study provides insights as to the Twitter activity during COP8 and the extent of the Tobacco Industry involvement in shaping and amplifying harm reduction debates, both directly and indirectly through organisations it funds.

10. European Commission news

Coronavirus: €128 million granted on research to address pressing needs and the socio-economic impact of the pandemic

The Commission is supporting 23 new research projects with a total of €128 million to address the continuing coronavirus pandemic and its effects.

The 23 projects involve 344 research teams from 39 countries, including 32 participants from 15 countries outside of the EU. The funding will enable researchers to strengthen and adapt industrial capacity to manufacture and deploy equipment such as ventilators, to prevent and treat coronavirus, to develop medical technologies and digital tools such as portable diagnostic system, to better understand the societal impacts of the pandemic, for example on vulnerable and marginalised groups, and to learn from large groups of patients (cohorts) across Europe in order to improve treatment.

Coronavirus: Commission steps up actions on testing with a recommendation on rapid antigen tests and support to increase testing capacity

The European Commission adopted a recommendation on the use of rapid antigen tests for the diagnosis of COVID-19. The recommendation provides guidance on how to select rapid antigen tests, when they are appropriate and who should perform them. It also calls for validation and mutual recognition of tests and their results.

A European Health Union: Tackling health crises together - The role of EU agencies

A factsheet on the futur mandates of both the ECDC and EMA, and the role of a new EU health emergency preparedness and response authority.

Building a European Health Union: Stronger crisis preparedness and response for Europe

The Commission is putting forward a set of proposals to strengthen the EU's health security framework, and to reinforce the crisis preparedness and response role of key EU agencies. In order to step up the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and future health emergencies, more coordination at EU level is needed. Drawing lessons from the current crisis, today's proposals will ensure stronger preparedness and response during the current and future health crises.

Coronavirus: Commission approves contract with BioNTech-Pfizer alliance to ensure access to a potential vaccine

Today [11 November 2020], the European Commission approved a fourth contract with pharmaceutical companies BioNTech and Pfizer, which provides for the initial purchase of 200 million doses on behalf of all EU Member States, plus an option to request up to a further 100 million doses, to be supplied once a vaccine has proven to be safe and effective against COVID-19. Member States can decide to donate the vaccine to lower and middle-income countries or to re-direct it to other European countries.

Health at a Glance: Europe

Today [19 November 2020], the European Commission and the OECD are launching their joint publication ‘Health at a Glance: Europe 2020’, kicking off the third round of the State of Health in the EU cycle.
The 2020 edition of Health at a Glance: Europe provides an in-depth analysis of European countries’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic using the latest data available.

11. European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control news

Eurosurveillance - Volume 25, Issue 44, 05 November 2020

The cat is out of the bag – point-of-care testing (POCT) is here to stay

Effects of primary care C-reactive protein point-of-care testing on antibiotic prescribing by general practice staff: pragmatic randomised controlled trial, England, 2016 and 2017
Point-of-care tests for influenza A and B viruses and RSV in emergency departments – indications, impact on patient management and possible gains by syndromic respiratory testing, Capital Region, Denmark, 2018
The experience of point-of-care testing for influenza in Scotland in 2017/18 and 2018/19 – no gain without pain
Do point-of-care tests (POCTs) offer a new paradigm for the management of patients with influenza?

Job vacancies at the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)

Eurosurveillance - Volume 25, Issue 45, 12 November 2020

Will coronavirus disease (COVID-19) have an impact on antimicrobial resistance?
Rapid communication
Convalescent plasma for COVID-19: male gender, older age and hospitalisation associated with high neutralising antibody levels, England, 22 April to 12 May 2020
Epidemiological situation, laboratory capacity and preparedness for carbapenem-resistant in Europe, 2019
Rates of increase of antibiotic resistance and ambient temperature in Europe: a cross-national analysis of 28 countries between 2000 and 2016
Enabling appropriate use of antibiotics: review of European Union procedures of harmonising product information, 2007 to 2020
Note from the editors: contributor survey results Job vacancy at the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)
Erratum for Euro Surveill. 2020;25(43)

Eurosurveillance - Volume 25, Issue 46, 19 November 2020

West Nile virus keeps on moving up in Europe
Rapid communication
Autochthonous West Nile virus infection outbreak in humans, Leipzig, Germany, August to September 2020
First autochthonous human West Nile virus infections in the Netherlands, July to August 2020
Virological surveillance of influenza viruses in the WHO European Region in 2019/20 – impact of the COVID-19 pandemic
Emergence of carbapenem-resistant ST131 carrying in Germany, 2019 to 2020
Characterising West Nile virus epidemiology in Israel using a transmission suitability index

Author's correction
Author’s correction for Euro Surveill. 2020;25(45)

Eurosurveillance - Volume 25, Issue 47, 26 November 2020

Rapid communication
Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on testing services for HIV, viral hepatitis and sexually transmitted infections in the WHO European Region, March to August 2020
Serology- and PCR-based cumulative incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in adults in a successfully contained early hotspot (CoMoLo study), Germany, May to June 2020
Where has all the influenza gone? The impact of COVID-19 on the circulation of influenza and other respiratory viruses, Australia, March to September 2020

Epidemiology and public health response in early phase of COVID-19 pandemic, Veneto Region, Italy, 21 February to 2 April 2020

ECDC Management Board Chair and Deputy Chair re-elected

On 25 November 2020, the ECDC Management Board re-elected Dr Anni Virolainen Julkunen as Chair and Ms Zofija Mazej Kukovič as Deputy Chair.

12. WHO news

WHO Director-General calls on world to 'choose health' at resumed 73rd World Health Assembly in the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife

Dr Tedros warned that “a vaccine cannot address the global under-investment in essential public health functions and resilient health systems, nor the urgent need for a “One Health” approach that encompasses the health of humans, animals and the planet we share. There is no vaccine for poverty, hunger, climate change or inequality.”

The health emergencies you didn't hear about in 2020

Read about the WHO challenges and successes all across the world during a year marked by a global pandemic on its Medium channel.

Readiness for influenza during the COVID-19 pandemic

WHO | Publication | 6 November 2020
The policy brief provides a concise summary of information and considerations to ensure optimal management of influenza during the COVID-19 pandemic. It includes a list of technical guidance and other resources to assist policy makers with monitoring the situation, preventing seasonal influenza, reducing severe complications and mortality, protecting specific populations and communicating to and engaging with the public.
Download the brief

New WHO dashboard quantifies and visualizes European countries' COVID-19 measures

WHO/Europe has just launched its Public Health and Social Measures (PHSM) Severity Index to provide standardized data on the ways in which countries in the WHO European Region have sought to slow or stop community spread of COVID-19. This latest tool systematically captures and analyses individual governmental PHSM responses to COVID-19 in the 53 countries of the Region.

Statement to the resumed 73rd World Health Assembly by the Chair of the Review Committee on the Functioning of the International Health Regulations (2005) during the COVID-19 Response

Statement delivered during the first session of Committee A of the resumed 73rd World Health Assembly, on 9 November 2020

73rd World Health Assembly set to strengthen preparedness for health emergencies

In a year that has seen more than 1.2 million lives lost to a deadly coronavirus pandemic, WHO’s 194 Member States are expected to adopt a resolution to strengthen preparedness for health emergencies EB146.R10, at the resumed 73rd World Health Assembly.
The draft resolution renews the commitment to better prepare for health emergencies such as COVID-19, through “full” compliance with the International Health Regulations (2005).
It urges Member States to “dedicate domestic investment and recurrent spending and public funding to health emergency preparedness,” and to “improve government and decision-making processes and enhance institutional capacity and infrastructure for public health.”

New WHO/Europe factsheet: policy action needed to reduce cancers attributable to alcohol use

The new WHO/Europe factsheet, “Alcohol and cancer in the WHO European Region: an appeal for better prevention”, emphasizes causal links between alcohol use and a range of cancers, including some of the most common types, such as female breast cancer and colorectal cancer. It also makes clear that alcohol-attributable cancers and deaths can be reduced through implementation of cost-effective policies, such as increasing taxes on alcoholic beverages and restricting marketing and availability of alcohol.

Romania and the Republic of Moldova stand together to tackle COVID-19

The cooperation which already existed between the health authorities and health systems of the two countries intensified as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. In early spring, with WHO assistance, Romania sent medical supplies and equipment to support the medical system of its neighbour.
“Romania's relationship with the Republic of Moldova is unique. Adding a robust health response to our partnership only strengthens the existing tie between our countries,” said Dr Andrei Baciu, State Secretary of Romanian Ministry of Health.

Health system responses to COVID-19

Many countries across the European region and beyond have faced another steep surge in transmissions and a continued challenge from COVID-19. This special issue of Eurohealth reviews some of the innovative practices across the European region and outlines policy lessons for the future.

Outstanding public health achievements from the WHO European Region receive the highest recognition at the resumed 73rd World Health Assembly

At the resumed Seventy-third World Health Assembly, 2 individuals and 1 organization from the WHO European Region were awarded prestigious global public health prizes for their significant contribution to population health.
Congratulations to Professor Gunhild Waldemar, Professor Dame Sally Davies and to the Equi-Sastipen-Roma Network for their commitment to strengthen populations' health.

Albania needs to expand population coverage to move towards universal health coverage

New WHO analysis finds that out-of-pocket payments for health are a major source of financial hardship for people in Albania. Around 8% of households are pushed into poverty or further impoverished after paying out of pocket and 12% experience catastrophic health spending. The financial hardship caused by out-of-pocket payments is heavily concentrated among poorer parts of the population and is increasingly driven by household spending on outpatient medicines.

Preventing the COVID-19 pandemic from causing an antibiotic resistance catastrophe

According to research conducted by WHO/Europe and reports from the field, the European Region now risks accelerated spread of antimicrobial resistance. The long-term problem of antibiotics being used inappropriately by individuals and in health care settings is worsening as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Coming together to identify health-workforce needs in small countries

The WHO Small Countries Initiative has released 2 sets of micro case studies, illustrating the experiences of 11 small countries and 1 region in strengthening their health workforces in the areas of postgraduate training and monitoring and managing health workforce mobility.
Read the micro case studies

EU Flag

This newsletter received co-funding under an operating grant from the European Union’s Health Programme (2014-2020). The content of this newsletter represents the views of the author(s) only and is his/her sole responsibility; it cannot be considered to reflect the views of the European Commission and/or the Consumers, Health, Agriculture and Food Executive Agency or any other body of the European Union. The European Commission and the Agency do not accept any responsibility for use that may be made of the information it contains.


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