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Basic Surveillance Network of 28 European Countries [-] [2004214] - Project
General objectives

The principal objective is to further improve and expand a basic, fully computerized, infectious disease surveillance network for Europe to follow time trends in incidence of the 40+ diseases at EU-level and make available the information needed to interpret the results. To achieve this the project aims at the active participation of 28 European countries. Thus the intent is to expand the network and introduce the methodology of BSN to all 10 new member states. This project is intended to be a useful instrument to be incorporated in the ECDC. The aim was therefore to prepare the BSN for a probable future transfer to the new European centre for disease prevention and control. Cooperation with the disease specific networks is envisaged and also cooperation with international organisations such as the WHO, especially the European office to which the CISID (The Computerized Information System for Infectious Diseases) is linked. Furthermore the project aims at quality control and development of methods for interpretation and analysis of data transferred to the network.

Strategic relevance and contribution to the public health programme

This project collects data on communicable diseases in the EU in which existing surveillance data from national databases are transferred into a common database. The aim of this project is the enlargement of the basic surveillance network to cover also the 10 new member states. This project will further develop methods for quality control and analysis of the collected data with the view to enable a transfer of the surveillance database to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).
A single source of fundamental epidemiological data on the 40+ listed diseases from all the EU countries makes data easy accessible. When stored in a standardised format it is possible to follow trends in infectious disease incidence for different countries at the European level. This is important for rapid public health action concerning emerging health threats. By doing so the project shall promote the implementation of case definitions of EU notifiable diseases in old and new member states.

Methods and means

- A case based database with a standard format allowing presentation of the data from different countries in the same way. Variables include name and date of disease, patients` sex, case classification and, depending on the disease, one or two additional variables transferred from the national databases. The additional variables are country of infection, origin of food, mode of transmission, specification of infectious agent and immunisation status. The collected data is intended to be presented on the project`s web site, updated once a month.
- An upgraded web-based interface for analysis and visualization of the common surveillance data to allow for presentation of data for all EU Member States (25), Norway, Iceland and Switzerland. Applicant countries (Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey, Croatia and possibly others) could also be included.
- Invitation of the Member States contact points to participate in the annual meetings and working groups focusing on data quality, sharing of experiences of data collection and dissemination of data.
- Invitation of the senior epidemiologists and data managers from the 10 new member states to a workshop to prepare for the participation in the monthly data transfers of notification data set up by the Basic Surveillance Network.
- Organisation of 2 workshops and 1 annual meeting during the contract period and after the first workshop and annual meeting a formal evaluation of the capacity of the contact points to participate. If deemed necessary the staff from the project visits the country.
Once the capacity of a contact point is deemed sufficient, disease-specific evaluations and a pilot test for each contact point is done. After a successful pilot test, monthly data transfers may begin.
- The project is intended to provide technical assistance and training for new member states to achieve a rapid progress towards eventual routine data transfers.
- Investigation by the working groups, lead by staff at the hub, of the different aspects of the quality of the collected data and difference between the participating countries.
- Benchmarking with other countries that collect data from different sources to allow the project to evaluate its work and learn form experiences of others.
- Publication of a monthly newsletter to maintain contact with the network members between the annual meetings.

Expected outcomes period

Work package n°1 - Coordination of the scientific, legal and financial aspects regarding the network and the contact`s with the commission. To enhance the networks internal cooperation. Work package n°2 - Involve the 10 accessing member states in the Basic Surveillance Network. Work package n°3 - Data quality exposition and benchmarking. To investigate the data quality and comparability of the information collected from all the member states. To disseminate the collected data in a useful way at the website. Work package n°4 - Dissemination of results of the project.

Start date: 01/01/2005
End date: 01/01/2007
Duration: 24 month(s)
Current status: Finalised
Programme title: First Programme of Community action in the field of public health (2003-2008)
EC Contribution: € 531 866,53