European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations

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Quality and Capacity in Humanitarian Health

Guinean children by MSF
Guinean children, aged six months to 10 years, are vaccinated against measles. ©MSF/Ikram N'gadi

When an emergency strikes, civil protection and humanitarian actors join forces to bring relief to those who need it most. This is especially true in case of disease outbreaks, when cooperation becomes essential to contain the epidemic and save lives in a race against time.

On 19 April, the European Commission is organising a panel discussion to bring together Emergency Medical Teams and humanitarian health actors. The Commission is a strong supporter of closer integration and coordination of these two communities of practice and the work they do in responding to emergencies.

The panel discussion will tackle the two key issues of quality and capacity in healthcare during emergency assistance.

Ensuring quality of healthcare during an emergency is at the heart of the Commission's humanitarian aid interventions. However, different humanitarian actors often employ different standards, from quality assurance procedures to quality of medicines. What are the concrete challenges faced in the field? What could be done to ensure consistency in humanitarian health assistance?

The Ebola health crisis – which killed more than 11 000 people – uncovered the urgent need to improve capacities to provide medical assistance swiftly whenever needed. The European Medical Corps, pooling together health emergency assets, specialised medical teams and mobile laboratories, can effectively contribute to addressing under-capacity in humanitarian health assistance. How can we ensure efficient coordination of the different actors in preparedness and response to epidemics? What are some of the lingering gaps in humanitarian health operations?


8:30 – 9:00 

Arrival and registration

9:00 – 9:30 

Keynote speech (Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid & Crisis Management Christos Stylianides)

9:30 – 11:00 

QUALITY IN HEALTH (Panel discussion + Q&A)

Bart Janssens, Médecins Sans Frontières

Renee Van De Weerdt, World Health Organization

Yves Dricot, Belgian Directorate-General for Development cooperation and humanitarian aid

Moderator: Androulla Kaminara, DG ECHO

11:00 – 11:20 

Coffee break

11:20 – 12:50 

CAPACITY IN HEALTH (Panel Discussion + Q&A)

Renee Van De Weerd, World Health Organization

Augustin Augier, Alima

Johan von Schreeb, Karolinska Institutet

Moderator: Johannes Luchner, DG ECHO

12:50 – 13:00 

Conclusions: Androulla Kaminara and Johannes Luchner


Date: Thursday, 19 April 2018
Time: 8:30 – 13:00 
Venue: Albert Borschette Congress Center, Rue Froissart 36, 1040 Brussels

Watch here the recorded webcast of the event.

Last updated 18/04/2018