Field Epidemiology Manual Wiki

HAI Surveillance at the EU level - importance of international networks

Last modified at 4/21/2016 9:21 PM by Vladimir Prikazsky

A wide approach of a coordinated surveillance at the European Union level permits:

  • to improve the comparability of data, which is especially relevant when comparing trends, using the data for regional or sub-regional modelling or forecasting;
  • to reduce the complexity in surveillance work across Europe and enhance insights into the current situation of communicable diseases in Europe;
  • to tackle infectious disease surveillance in a synergistic way and to avoid duplication of work;
  • to lead to a refinement of the system and provide better quality public health evidence, based on more relevant and reliable data;
  • to include important communicable diseases in a surveillance and research agenda matching European priorities;
  • to enhance the detection and monitoring of international outbreaks of infectious diseases — in particular those involving rare diseases/pathogens which are more easily detected at the EU level — and, in the longer term, strengthen the links to the public health response sector;
  • to improve description of affected populations and make more accurate estimates of the burden of disease, so that policy makers may better decide about the implementation of the prevention and control measures required


  • to improve the strengthening of the national surveillance systems
  • facilitate the implementation of the International Health Regulations;
  • to economize the surveillance systems with the creation of a coordination centre;
  • to give an easier access for Member States, technical institutions and key stakeholders to data, and hence improve the quality of reports;
  • to foster better European collaboration;
  • to create a closer cooperation with the people involved in field epidemiology training and provide more practical hands-on issues for the trainees.

The Programme on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and healthcare-associated infections (HAI) is the ECDC European programme aimed at developing the surveillance networks and the programmes about HAI and AMR.


Link to European IC/HH Core Competencies: Area 3. Surveillance and investigation of healthcare associated infection (HAI)


ECDC. Surveillance of communicable diseases in the European Union. A long-term strategy 2008–2013