Global WHO Hub for Pandemic and Epidemic Intelligence starts in Berlin

Global WHO Hub for Pandemic and Epidemic Intelligence starts in Berlin

To better prepare for future pandemics, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has created an early warning centre in Berlin.

WHO Pandemic Early Warning Centre

© dpa

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) symbolically cut a ribbon at the inauguration ceremony of the «WHO Hub for Pandemic and Epidemic Intelligence».

The Robert Koch Institute and the Charité are also involved as founding partners. The new centre, which will initially be located on the Charité campus in Mitte and will later move to Moritzplatz in Kreuzberg, was opened on 1 September 2021 by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Early pandemic detection through data analysis

Among other things, it is to bundle data on diseases, animal health, population movements and the consequences of the climate crisis. In this way, patterns are to be recognised at an early stage and threat scenarios created on the basis of computer models, as the WHO announced. The aim is to implement measures earlier in the event of a new pandemic so that a pathogen does not spread throughout the world. The WHO named the sum of 100 million US dollars (84.6 million euros) as start-up capital.

Epidemiologist Chikwe Ihekweazu appointed Director of WHO Hub

The first director of the «WHO Hub for Pandemic and Epidemic Intelligence» is the German-born Nigerian epidemiologist Chikwe Ihekweazu, who currently heads the Nigeria Health Authority. «We now have a unique opportunity to learn internationally from the Covid 19 pandemic and prepare for major crises to come,» said Charité CEO Heyo Kroemer. «Our goal is to inspire the brightest minds from different disciplines and countries to work on challenging problems of epidemic and pandemic risk management and to attract them to Berlin.» In terms of content, this should also include, for example, the training of future health professionals, added the WHO chief.
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«The WHO's decision in favour of Berlin and the close cooperation of its hub with the Charité underlines the high attractiveness of our city as a place of excellent research and international dialogue,» said Berlin's Governing Mayor and Science Senator Michael Müller (SPD).

Source: dpa/deepl.com

| Last edited: Thursday, 2. September 2021 10:06 Uhr

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