Coordinating health crisis management

At the request of the authorities, we intervene in the event of a public or animal health crisis, whether through our expertise, risk assessment or epidemiological support. We prepare Sciensano to respond to health crises, whether the threat is local, national or even international, and to internal crises within the institution, while maintaining its core activities.
As such, our service organizes all the other parties potentially involved so as to be able to mobilize without delay the means necessary for an adequate and effective response to the threat, thus helping to maintain the state of health of the population. 

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The provisions of the European Union and the World Health Organization (WHO) in relation to health require Member States to possess the means to detect any event (e.g.: biological, chemical, environmental, etc.) that may have an impact on health, to assess the potential impact of this event, to take the control measures necessary to protect the population and to monitor the effectiveness of such measures. Sciensano must be able to mobilise any of its areas of competence at the request of the authorities and must therefore be reachable at any time. Different on-duty services, such as an on-duty epidemiologist service available 24/7, are therefore organised. 

In the event of a potential threat to public health, we will coordinate a risk assessment group, which will assess the dangers to public health and propose control measures to the authorities. In the event of a health crisis, our service provides epidemiological support to the health authorities, whether by strengthening existing monitoring systems or by conducting epidemiological studies. 

We also prepare Sciensano to respond to unusual events and crises by developing an internal crisis plan and appropriate procedures. In addition, each service must describe its functioning and its ability to respond in an activity continuity plan. We also organize crisis drills to validate the procedures put in place.

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