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News & updates
June 2022
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Strengthening preparedness through Joint Action

The risks identified in SHARP's original plans became a harsh reality with Covid-19. Highlighting the need to strengthen IHR cross-sectoral monitoring and strategies. 

Yet, the pandemic put enormous pressure on the work package teams. These experts were often reassigned to their national emergencies’ response. This meant a significant delay in important joint action activities. 

2022 started with a spirit of optimism
Nonetheless, 2022 began in a spirit of optimism with an EU extension of the joint action to March 2023. Accelerating work to meet the growing interest in a multi-sector focus to the scope of risks to health security.
Image of people draped in the Ukraine flag
During the Russian invasion of Ukraine, SHARP Joint Action shares the deepest concern for the safety, health and wellbeing of all who have been impacted by this war. Most of all for the Ukrainian people.
We recognise the efforts of SHARP colleagues. Who, once again, are taking on unprecedented challenges to public health posed by the large numbers of displaced people seeking shelter and travelling to SHARP JA member countries. 

The challenges SHARP experienced over the three years reinforces the need for resilient health systems.

Progress has been made despite the setbacks - most recently monkeypox. Each work package is now using the extension to meet the original goals - providing a valuable body of work for future decision-making and planning.
Key activity to date 2022 
On the 11 March, Dr Anna Katz, of the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) presented to 350+ delegates at the Healthy Gateways final conference. 

The collaborations and synergies between SHARP Joint Action and the Joint Action Preparedness and action at points of entry demonstrates EU added value in respect of IHR-related hazards and preparedness at points of entry.

SHARP members plan for the remaining period

SHARP Joint Action's 13th Steering Committee and 4th Advisory board meeting on 6 May 2022 saw 38 SHARP members from 18 organisations present at a full day meeting hosted at the Public Health Agency of Sweden (FOHM) headquarters in Stockholm.

Read more
Gaps identified in IHR training

In May, we published an Assessment of IHR-Related, Cross-Sectoral Training Needs in the EU, the European Economic Area and neighbouring countries by the Institute of Public Health Serbia.

The report quantified regional differences and gaps in several areas of IHR core capacities. Improvements in the areas of biosafety and biosecurity, risk communication and chemical events, were recommended to strengthen preparedness for serious cross-border health threats. The need to work across sectors on a local, regional and national level is stressed. The report can be viewed on the SHARP JA website.

The insight on gaps has informed the work of Work Package 8 in delivering capacity building training and exercises; sharing knowledge and experiences across countries; providing technical support and skills in preparedness and response planning; plus, enhancement of inter-sectoral collaboration. More on Work Package 8 can be found on the SHARP JA website.
Heading reads 'Forthcoming Events' with icon of calendar
6-7 September 2022

Work Package 6 facilitates an Expert meeting on lessons learnt from multisectoral collaboration during the COVID-19 pandemic, in Malta and online.

Experts involved in the COVID-19 preparedness and response will table information about different aspects of their experiences.

The intelligence gathered will further inform current SHARP JA studies. Once complete, these studies will be highly useful to countries developing operational, inter-sectoral preparedness and response plans for serious cross-border, all hazards threats.

Experts who have a good overview of the COVID-19 preparedness and response within their country will be invited to participate later this month.

19-20 September 2022

Work Package 5, delivers a workshop on
Strengthening of IHR Capacities and progress made on IHR core capacities during the pandemic in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

The main topics are 
  • IHR strengthening in general
  • A focused discussion on Surveillance and Risk Communication capacities in the light of sustainability. 

Presentations and group discussions will be structured to exchange country experience and lead the participants to reassess progress with Surveillance and Risk Communication. And, in turn, determine a way forward toward for sustainable and continued strengthening of IHR core capacities.
Two experts per country working on IHR or Early Warning and Response System issues will be invited to participate. A preliminary agenda and registration form will be available shortly. 

SHARP JA is committed to support evidence-based, decision-making towards preparedness across Europe.
With key reports planned for publication, keep up to date with events and publications
Link to Future Shocks 2022 report
And finally ... an interesting read
Future Shocks 2022: Monitoring risks and addressing capabilities for Europe in a contested world. A study from the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) with the Directorates-General for Internal Polices (IPOL) and External Policies (EXPO)

This study includes references to serious cross border threats to health of relevance to SHARP JA partners and the sustainability of their work.

SHARP Joint Action