EMCDDA Director Alexis Goosdeel is paying an official visit to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) in Stockholm today where he will spend two days discussing opportunities for further collaboration between the two agencies with ECDC Director Andrea Ammon.

Since signing a formal EMCDDA–ECDC cooperation agreement in 2007, the two agencies have worked together on collecting, analysing and disseminating data, particularly in the area of monitoring drug-related infectious diseases (e.g. HIV, HCV and HBV). In 2011, the agencies issued joint guidance on the Prevention and control of infectious diseases among people who inject drugs.

During this week’s meeting, agency representatives will discuss: proposals to promote greater involvement of drug services in infectious disease testing (to complement European Testing Week); ways of improving the surveillance and monitoring capacity of EU Member States (with a particular focus on HCV); and the provision of evidence-based information and best practice for EU Member States and EU institutions.

A key feature of the EMCDDA Strategy 2025 is to build the agency’s capacity for targeted health responses to outbreaks of drug-related infectious diseases and other adverse health events. The exchange of knowledge and sharing of best practice between agencies is a part of this process.

Working in partnership with ECDC is an important component of the EMCDDA work programme for 2018. Among the initiatives planned are a series of joint threat-assessment missions and the release of guidance on the prevention of communicable diseases in prison settings.