Health Minister stresses need for WHO-EU coordination to combat epidemics

Health Minister stresses need for WHO-EU coordination to combat epidemics

Cyprus Health Minister George Pamporides has stressed that when epidemics occur, the World Health Organization and the European Commission need to coordinate the required response and that EU member states must have updated Actions Plans at their disposal, as well as excellent trained and equipped staff who can cope with the existing conditions.

Pamporides, who represented Cyprus at the High Level Conference: “Lessons learned for public health from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa – how to improve preparedness and response in the EU for future outbreaks” organized in Luxembourg by the EU Luxembourg Presidency and the European Commission, also noted that it is of pivotal importance that small states have an easy access to the means required to address such situations.

He said that all EU member states must support this effort, so that all small countries have the required personal protective equipment at their disposal, as well as direct access to medicine and vaccines.

The aim of this conference was to identify learning points arising from the Ebola epidemic which will be crucial to strengthen health security within the European Union, enhance the preparedness and response capacities of EU member states and put the EU in the position to respond rapidly, flexibly and effectively to emergencies and disease outbreaks in the future.