RAG - Coordination of the Risk Assessment Group

Last updated on 14-6-2024 by Jorgen Stassijns
Project duration:
January 1, 2007
-
Project with no end date

In short

In the event of a public health threat, health authorities take measures to minimize the risk to the Belgian population. The role of the Risk Assessment Group (RAG) is to:

  • analyze any signal that may have an impact on public health, and 
  • propose prevention and control measures to the health authorities (Risk Management Group), who decide on the measures to be applied.

Sciensano coordinates the Risk Assessment Group.

 

Project description

Following the World Health Organisation (WHO) International Health Regulations from 2005, 2 permanent structures were created in 2007 in the event of a public health threat in Belgium:

  1. the Risk Assessment Group (RAG)
  2. the Risk Management Group (RMG).

Their role and constitution are established through a protocol agreement between the Belgian Health Authorities.

The Risk Assessment Group (RAG) analyses the risk and proposes measures

Sciensano coordinates the RAG. More information on the way of working is available in the RAG’s work procedure, available in PDF icon French or in PDF icon Dutch.

The RAG is composed of permanent experts (public health professionals), supported by specific experts according to the type of event (infection, environmental problem, etc.). Each advice document lists the sollicited experts for the specific advice. All members of the RAG are:

  • informed on the house rules
  • bound to confidentiality of information and
  • requested to declare any conflict of interest.

The role of the RAG is to:

  1. evaluate the threat and assess the risk posed to public health, based on epidemiological and scientific data
  2. propose measures to the RMG to limit or control the threat and
  3. evaluate the impact of interventions.

The threats for public health can be of microbiological, chemical or environmental origin. Monitoring of potential health threats is based on signals identified through routine epidemiological surveillance in Belgium (e.g. unexpected increase of the number of cases for a disease), and information on threats occurring in other countries, with a potential impact for Belgium (e.g. outbreak of Ebola in Africa). This is referred to as “epidemic intelligence”.  

The Risk Management group (RMG) decides on the measures and communicates

The RMG consists of representatives of health authorities and is chaired by the National Focal Point for the International Health Regulations which is part of the FPS Public Health.
Based on the advice of the RAG, the RMG decides on the measures that are needed to protect the public health. It is also RMG that is in charge of the communication to public health professionals and general public. 

For more information, contact Jorgen Stassijns, coordinator of the RAG 

Advice

Respi Radar

COVID-19

Epidemiological updates

2023

The epidemiological updates are only available in Dutch and French.

Risk assessments

Some documents are only available in Dutch and/or French.

2023
2022
2021
2020

Test strategy

Some documents are only available in Dutch and/or French.

2023
2022
2021
2020

Measures for infected persons and their contacts

Some documents are only available in Dutch and/or French.

2023
2022
2021
2020

Children

Varia

Some documents are only available in Dutch and/or French.

2023
2022
2021
2020

Risk assessments

Bacterial infections

Antimicrobial resistance

Helicobacter pylori

2017:

VRE

2015:

Invasive bacterial infections

Group A Streptococcal (GAS) Disease

2023:

2019:

2017:

Chemicals

Fipronil

2017:

Environment

Food- & waterborne diseases

Fungal infections

Vaccine-preventable diseases

Vector-borne diseases & zoonosis

Mosquito-borne diseases

Aedes Albopictus

2024:

Chikungunya

2014:

Malaria

2015:

West Nile virus

2019:

Yellow fever

2016:

Zika

2016:

Tick-borne diseases

Tick-borne encephalitis

2017:

Zoonoses

Bornavirus

2015:

Hantavirus

2017:

Q fever

2024:

Rabies

2017:

2016:

Tularemie

2015:

Veterinary emerging zoonoses

Viral hemorrhagic fevers

Viral infections

Varia

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease

2021:

Refugees

2022:

2017:

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