European Union countries face the challenge of how to best allocate limited resources in healthcare protection and disease prevention to achieve maximum results. Provision of sound evidence improves the quality of health policy decision making and promotes transparency and accountability. Measurement of the burden of disease provides evidence which can be taken into account as an important factor in health policy formulation.
Burden of disease is a measure of human health that summarises the impact of mortality and morbidity in one single metric, the Disability-Adjusted Life Year (DALY), as proposed by the Global Burden of Disease study. Limited information is currently available on the burden of communicable diseases. They have been estimated to represent less than 10% of the total burden of disease in Europe. However, there is a need for updated estimates. The boundaries between communicable and non-communicable diseases get more and more blurred as the evidence grows for more chronic diseases having infectious pathology. Even though substantial progress has been made in the development of methods for estimating the burden of disease, those methods do not yet take into account the dynamic nature of infectious disease transmission and epidemiology in a systematic way.
Read more about the Burden of Communicable Diseases in Europe (BCoDE) project
For questions and suggestions, please write to: BCoDE@ecdc.europa.eu