Meetings of the Protocol Task Force on surveillance and early-warning systems, contingency plans and response capacity

The Task Force works essentially on primary waterborne diseases with high tendency to spread - thereby contributing to the implementation of the International Health Regulations (2005) - but also addresses emerging diseases. It developed guidelines on surveillance, outbreak detection and early warning systems, contingency plans and response capacity and supports their implementation. It also provides advice to Parties and non-Parties including in-country missions. Country assistance focuses on strengthening surveillance systems and, in particular, strengthening capacity to deal with outbreak detection and contingency planning.

In 2010-2013, the Task Force will focus its activities around three main areas of work: (i) water-related disease surveillance, outbreak detection and contingency planning; (ii) capacity-building; and (iii) follow-up to the Fifth Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health. Collaborations are expected with the Task Force on Indicators and Reporting and with the cross-cutting issue on small-scale water supply.

Italy kindly offered to lead the Task Force, whose members are: Albania, Armenia, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Norway, Romania, Serbia.

Meetings

The latest meeting of the Task Force, held on 10–12 February 2010 in Durres, Albania, finalized the political and technical guidance documents on water-related disease surveillance and the assessment of health risks associated with small scale water supply systems. Task Force achievements were also discussed to draw lessons for possible improvement, and activities to be proposed for the programme of work 2010–2013 were selected and prioritized.