Towards health security. A discussion paper on recent health crises in the WHO European Region




Edited by Gerald Rockenschaub, Jukka Pukkila and Maria Cristina Profili
2007, 77 pages
ISBN 978 92 890 2198 2
This publication is only available online.

The health security of Europe is increasingly threatened by communicable diseases, natural disasters and large-scale accidents, conflicts, complex emergencies and climate change. Recent health crises such as avian influenza and the threat of a human influenza pandemic, the heat-wave of 2003 and armed conflict in south-eastern Europe have brought these threats into focus.

This publication reviews the lessons learned in tackling these threats. Although the health sector takes the lead in health security, health threats are multisectoral so it must also collaborate with and guide the responses of other sectors. As the lead agency of the United Nations health cluster, WHO's function is to promote effective partnerships with others, be they governments, international organizations, civil society or the private sector. Together they can help the Member States of the WHO European Region prepare to prevent and mitigate future health security crises.

Targeted at policy-makers, this publication offers guidance on how the international community can apply the lessons learned to future threats, emphasizing the importance of preparing health systems for future challenges.