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An Assessment of Coherence Between Early Warning and Response Systems and Serious Cross-Border Health Threats in the European Union and Turkey

  • Perihan Elif Ekmekci (a1)

Abstract

Disease outbreaks have attracted the attention of the public health community to early warning and response systems (EWRS) for communicable diseases and other cross-border threats to health. The European Union (EU) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have published regulations in this area. Decision 1082/2013/EU brought a new approach the management of public health threats in EU member states. Decision 1082/2013/EU brought several innovations, which included establishing a Health Security Committee; preparedness and response planning; joint procurement of medical countermeasures; ad hoc monitoring for biological, chemical, and environmental threats; EWRS; and recognition of an emergency situation and interoperability between various sectors. Turkey, as an acceding country to the EU and a member of the WHO, has been improving its national public health system to meet EU legislations and WHO standards. This article first explains EWRS as defined in Decision 1082/2013/EU and Turkey’s obligations to align its public health laws to the EU acquis. EWRS in Turkey are addressed, particularly their coherence with EU policies regarding preparedness and response, alert notification, and interoperability between health and other sectors. Finally, the challenges and limitations of the current Turkish system are discussed and further improvements are suggested. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2016;10:883–892)

Copyright

Corresponding author

Correspondence and reprint requests to Perihan Elif Ekmekci, MD, Department of History of Medicine and Ethics Medical Faculty of TOBB University, Yıldızevler Mah 738, Sok Tria Residence B Blok No 41, Ankara, Turkey (e-mail: drpelifek@gmail.com).

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