Crisis preparedness and response
Conference: “Lessons learnt for public health from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa – how to improve preparedness and response in the EU for future outbreaks”
12-14 October 2015, Mondorf Les Bains (Luxembourg)
The Ebola outbreak in 2014 and 2015 in West Africa and the repercussions it had at international level have substantially changed our perception and understanding of global health security. DG SANTE, together with the Luxembourg Presidency, organised a conference on " lessons learnt for public health from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa – how to improve preparedness and response in the EU for future outbreaks”.
The aim of this conference was to identify learning points arising from the Ebola epidemic which will be crucial to strengthen health security in the European Union, better prepare us for similar crises and put us in the position to respond rapidly, flexibly and effectively to emergencies and disease outbreaks in the future.
The outcomes of the conference will inform conclusions of the Health Council planned for 8 December 2015. The results will also be incorporated in the report on the lessons learnt from Ebola that EU Ebola coordinator and Commissioner, Mr Christos Stylianides, will present to the European Council.
An award ceremony to grant the European Health Prize, devoted this year to NGOs which have been active in fighting Ebola, completed the opening session.
Subsequently four workshops - run in parallel sessions – analysed:
- the Ebola outbreak as a complex crisis: the EU response and inter-sectorial cooperation,
- best practices for treatment and prevention including protection of health care workers, medical evacuation, diagnostic methods and vaccines,
- communication activities and strategies addressed to the public and health professionals and
- the Ebola epidemic from a local challenge to a global health security issue.
The participants were from health authorities and experts from EU Member States, EU bodies, international and Non-Governmental Organisations working in risk and crisis management and communication who have been involved in the response in West Africa as well as in preparedness and response in the EU. Participation was by invitation only.
See also the pictures of the EU Health Award for NGOs - Making a difference in fighting Ebola