Regional Epidemiologists’ Meeting (REM), 10-11 December 2007, Saint-Petersburg, Russia

  Published: 27.06.08 Updated: 27.06.2008 11:55:02

For a number of years the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) in collaboration with the regional state sanitary and epidemiological surveillance centres of North-West Russia have organized meetings for leading epidemiologists. The purpose of these meetings has been to expand cooperation on a regional level, to develop a network of surveillance specialists in Northern Europe and to exchange experience within the region. The first REM took place in Murmansk 4 - 5 November 2002. The second meeting was organized in Petrozavodsk, Karelia, 17 September 2003 and the third REM was held in Kaliningrad 1 - 2 June 2004. The meetings were funded by NIPH with assistance from the Nordic Council of Ministers and the Barents Health Programme.

In 2007 year the Regional Epidemiologists’ Meeting was held at the Pasteur Institute in Saint-Petersburg. This meeting addressed the improvement of epidemiological surveillance of infectious diseases in the Barents and Baltic regions. The meeting was arranged by the Pasteur Institute in Saint-Petersburg with funding from the Barents Health Programme. Chief epidemiologists from the North-Western region of Russia, Nordic and Baltic countries were invited to participate. Representatives from Novgorod, Pskov and Vologda, regions that were not previously involved in the cooperation, also attended the meeting. Furthermore, representatives from the Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Well-being (Rospotrebnadzor) and WHO in Copenhagen had presentations. A presentation concerning Eurosurveillance, given by the managing editor, was also included in the programme.

For one and a half days over 40 participants from Norway, Sweden, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and 10 regions of North-West Russia (Murmansk, Arkhangelsk, Kaliningrad, Vologda, Pskov, Novgorod, Leningrad regions, Saint-Petersburg city, Komi Republic and the Republic of Karelia) discussed the new International Health Regulations, various aspects of the implementation of the National Health Project in the regions of Russia, outbreak surveillance and rotavirus vaccination. It was concluded that the fruitful discussions addressing current challenges regarding epidemiological surveillance and infectious disease control should be continued annually at the Regional Epidemiologists’ Meetings.