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Preparedness and capacity building for emerging epidemics

European Network for Highly Infectious Diseases

EC contribution
: € 374 742
: 36 months
Starting date
: 01/07/2007
Project type
: Public Health Programme
: highly infectious diseases, isolation, infection control, health-care workers' safety
Project Number
: 2006205


The EuroNHID project aims to develop evidence-based checklists to assess hospital capabilities on infection control and healthcare workers' (HCWs') safety in a network of centres involved in the management of patients affected by highly infectious diseases (HIDs). Selected centres involved in or planning for management of HIDs will be identified in participating countries and will be surveyed using the checklists. Collected data will be revised to define affordable and sustainable improvements based on pre-existing conditions, national goals and priorities, which are consistent with EU Community policy. A final report, as an open-access source for the safe management of HID, will be issued.


In recent years, attention has been increasingly focused on threats to health security, including those that might be caused by emerging infections or by deliberate release of biological agents. Isolation capabilities, infection control procedures, and skills of HCWs are fundamental issues for HID containment. From recent public health threats, such as the SARS epidemic, we learned that it is important to assess the effectiveness of infection control practices planned by national and local authorities, and to improve HCWs' knowledge of, and compliance with, safer procedures and policies.

Some deliverables of EuroNHID will integrate the results of the previous project EUNID. In particular, EuroNHID will verify the applicability of the standards evidenced by EUNID as experts' recommendations in the field of minimum requirements for referral hospitals, and staff safety.

The added value of the project consists in providing an 'on-the-field' evaluation of European capabilities that could enable passing from a theoretical to a practical, and practicable, approach to infection control and HCWs' safety in the management of patients affected by HIDs, and from a quantitative to a qualitative evaluation of hospital capability in dealing with agents of HIDs.

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