Published: 2022-04-14 11:58 | Updated: 2022-04-14 12:01

Centre for Health Crises has become a member of GOARN

Collaboration
Collaboration Foto: Kseniya Hartvigsson

The Centre for Health Crises at Karolinska Institutet is now a member of the WHO’s network GOARN – Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network. Via the network, the Centre for Health Crises can contribute with staff and resources to health emergencies and crises around the world.

GOARN and KI

GOARN gathers more than 250 institutions and organisations from all over the world, in order to act on emergency threats to public health and to health crises. Many established organisations such as Médecins Sans Frontières, Johns Hopkins University, and the African CDC are already members. The purpose of the network is to monitor and supply technical expertise in case of emergency health threats. Previous operations that the network has been involved in include Ebola and SARS outbreaks, and of course the Covid-19 pandemic. The intention is to collaborate to achieve a quick and effective support in order to prevent and control outbreaks of contagious diseases and lend support in other types of medical and health crises. The network acts based on requests. Following a request, they run and coordinate various types of support measures and activities.

”The Centre for Health Crises and KI can contribute by educating the next generation of experts in order to be able to meet the needs both in our region and globally, in case of for example outbreaks of pathogens such as virus, bacteria and so on”, says Anna Zorzet, strategic process leader at the Centre for Health Crises. To be able to assist with experts there needs to be specially adapted courses and practical training, which is something that the people who work with the Centre for Health crises have a lot of experience in conducting, both when it comes to for example disaster medicine, but also in pandemics, such as Covid-19.

International collaboration and opportunities 

Anna Zorzet also emphasises the importance of skills exchange and networking, which the membership in GOARN allows for:” It is of utmost importance that we constantly remain updated and are a part of the international response mechanism when it comes to health crises. We have a great amount of skill and capability at KI, which can be used for the good of the global society through this kind of network”.

The director of the centre, Johan von Schreeb, is at present seconded to the WHO in Ukraine. He has previously worked on missions conducted via GOARN.” The fact that the centre is now a member of GOARN is an excellent opportunity for KI to contribute with expertise and to build skills that can be used in the future to quickly assist not just GOARN, but also assist in Sweden with expertise in outbreak investigations and in other areas”, he says.  

If you would like to know more about GOARN and the work they do, visit their website. If you would like to know more about the Centre for Health Crises and how you can contribute to our work, visit our page on KI’s website or email healthcrises@ki.se