WHO is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system. It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends.
Cooperation between the World Health Organization (WHO) and the EMCDDA dates back to 1995. It covers the exchange of data, methodological information and tools on the basis of a working agreement, which was formalised in March 2000 through a Memorandum of Understanding. The WHO Regional Office for Europe attends the meetings of the EMCDDA Management Board as an observer, on behalf of the organisation..
Over more than a decade of cooperation, working relations have been strengthened through joint activities and common projects, and partnerships have developed in different policy areas. Cooperation between WHO and the EMCDDA has focused on the development, testing and evaluation of cost-effective interventions for substance use disorders (a workbook series on the evaluation of treatment for substance-use disorders) and the compilation and dissemination of evidence-based information on the health and social consequences of drug use and relevant interventions through the EMCDDA’s Best practice portal and WHO’s Health Evidence Network, HEN.
Another area of common interest and close collaboration is prison health. As a member of the Steering Group of the ’Health in Prison Network’, the EMCDDA is committed to improving the available data on drug use and related health needs and service provision in custodial settings.
The EMCDDA also collaborates with WHO and its European Office on the monitoring of infectious diseases. Work includes attending expert meetings and joint publications. At present, an analysis is ongoing in order to see how to best integrate activities such as the data on drug-related infectious diseases (DRID) collected by the EMCDDA into HIV and viral hepatitis surveillance in Europe, coordinated jointly by WHO/Europe and ECDC.
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