On 20 March 2013, Mr. Göran Hägglund, the Swedish Minister for Health and Social Affairs, visited the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and addressed the ECDC Management Board. He was warmly welcomed by Dr Françoise Weber, Chair of the ECDC Management Board, and by Marc Sprenger, ECDC Director. The Minister’s visit marks a continuation of the fruitful working relationship between ECDC and its host country Sweden.
Minister Hägglund said: “I’m very proud to have ECDC in Sweden. ECDC fulfills an important role in the area of prevention of communicable diseases in the EU. A role that will become increasingly important as we need to cooperate closer together on the prevention and combat of infectious diseases.”
The minister continued by saying, “For Sweden, one very important issue is antibiotic resistance. This is one of the most serious global health threats. The effects and costs for individuals and health systems over the world are huge and will be more so. As antimicrobial resistance is a complex problem driven by many cofactors, and single interventions have little impact, EU and international cooperation is crucial. In this work, ECDC has of course a very important role to play.”
Dr Françoise Weber affirmed: “With the Minister’s presence in our meeting today, we are happy to continue building on the fruitful cooperation with our host country. It is very good for ECDC to be located in Sweden – the country of the world-renowned Karolinska Institutet and the country in the forefront of keeping down resistance to antimicrobials”.
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control is an EU agency tasked with identifying, assessing and communicating threats to human health posed by infectious diseases. It supports the work of public health authorities in the EU/EEA Member States. Since its establishment in 2005, it is seated in Solna, Sweden. In order to achieve its mission, the Centre works in partnership with national health protection bodies, like the Swedish Institute for Communicable Disease Control (Smittskyddsinstitutet), across Europe to strengthen and develop continent-wide disease surveillance and early warning systems. By working with experts throughout Europe, ECDC pools Europe's health knowledge to develop authoritative scientific opinions about the risks posed by infectious diseases.