Visit to assess the capacity of the national influenza laboratory in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

29 November–1 December 2016, Skopje, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

On 29 November–1 December 2016 a WHO technical team will perform an on-site assessment of the national influenza laboratory at the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’s Institute of Public Health to identify the steps for the laboratory to obtain the formal WHO recognition as National Influenza Centre (NIC).

NICs are national institutions designated by ministries and recognized by WHO. Among other duties they collect clinical samples and isolate influenza viruses, making it possible for WHO to monitor the influenza season each year and make vaccine recommendations.

In the WHO European Region they serve as a key technical resource and reference point for national authorities in the laboratory surveillance of influenza. Through the WHO Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System (GISRS) they contribute to the implementation of the Pandemic Influenza Preparedness (PIP) Framework and participate in Flu News Europe, the weekly influenza update jointly produced by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and the WHO Regional Office for Europe.