Socioeconomic, environmental and behavioural factors, as well as international travel and migration, foster and increase the spread of communicable diseases. Vaccine-preventable, foodborne, zoonotic, health care-related and communicable diseases pose significant threats to human health and may sometimes threaten international health security.
WHO/Europe works with Member States, international organizations and bilateral agencies to help countries strengthen their programmes for the control of infectious diseases. But access to services is inadequate in many parts of the Region. The Region’s poorer countries face the double burden of inadequate health systems and persistent communicable diseases. In cooperation with governments, WHO/Europe develops norms and standards, guidance and public health tools to help countries implement effective disease prevention and control programmes and address their risk factors. Much progress has unquestionably been made to date, yet emerging communicable diseases continue to challenge public health.