Advancing Cross-Border Collaboration: Infectious Diseases in Focus
March 7, 2024

In a proactive move towards strengthening cross-border collaboration, euPrevent network partners specialized in infectious diseases met at the GGD in Heerlen (the Netherlands). The aim of the meeting was not only to explore the persistent challenges within the field but also to find new opportunities for working together within the Euregion.

The discussion centered on the expansion of the Euregional Health Atlas (EHA) beyond the Euregion Meuse-Rhine (EMR) to encompass the Euregion Rhine Meuse-North (ERMN). Despite the difficulties and challenges such as cross-border data exchange and the selection criteria for infectious diseases data, the group is determined to tackle the challenge.

Another topic discussed was how climate change affects the spread and characteristics of infectious diseases. Since diseases can easily cross borders, partners recognized the need to set up a system for working together across borders to control and prevent the spread of diseases effectively. The need for swift and efficient communication processes was emphasized to ensure timely responses.

Looking back on what was learned during the pandemic, the group stressed the importance of being able to understand and evaluate information from the media. They emphasized misinformation can be harmful not only for disease prevention and responses, but also for vaccination efforts, highlighting the need for public awareness and education. The discussions at the meeting laid the foundation for more collaboration in the future. As infectious diseases continue to develop, this joint effort shows progress towards a stronger and more unified approach in the border region.