UKHSA and ECDC Sign Memorandum of Understanding

Priscilla Lynch 

December 03, 2021

Despite the decision to leave Europe, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). The agreement aims to boost the collaboration between the two agencies on matters of communicable diseases prevention and control.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us, communicable diseases do not respect borders. UKHSA firmly believes that health security collaboration with our international partners is imperative to protect all our citizens," said Dr Jenny Harries, Chief Executive of UKHSA.

The cooperation activities envisaged under this partnership include exchange of information, mutual consultation in the event of an emerging health threat that may affect or concern the European Union and the UK, and a possible exchange of personnel and liaison officers.

The areas of mutual interest for cooperation include:

  • Epidemic intelligence – sharing information rapidly, particularly in the event of a public health emergency

  • Health risk assessments

  • Laboratory capacity-building and enhancement to detect and respond to emerging disease threats of global health importance

  • Antimicrobial resistance

  • Healthcare-associated infections

ECDC Director Andrea Ammon said: “I welcome this agreement with the United Kingdom, and I am committed to building a mutually beneficial relationship with the UKHSA. Any infectious disease that might affect the European Union can also target the UK and vice versa; therefore, both myself and Chief Executive Harries recognise that exchanging knowledge and expertise is paramount."

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