MediPIET-EMPHNET joint conference day: a success of a network collaboration

In cooperation with the Ministry of Public Health of Morocco, EMPHNET (Eastern Mediterranean Public Health Network) and MediPIET it was conducted as a new feature a joint conference day on December 6th 2016, in the framework of their respective annual conferences hold in Marrakech.

The Joint Conference Day gathered in Marrakesh more than 300 experts in Epidemiology and Public Health of both networks. The opening ceremony was chaired by Prof Abderrahmane Maaroufi, Director General of Epidemiology and Disease Control at the Ministry of Health of Morocco. The main speakers were Prof Karl Ekdahl, head of the Public Health Capacity and Communication Unit at the ECDC and chair of the Scientific Committee of MediPIET; Dr Mohannad Al Nsour, Executive Director of EMPHNET; Dr Dionisio Herrera, director of TEPHINET; Mr José Jaime de Domingo, team leader of MediPIET; Dr Andrea Schwarz from the European Commission (DG-SANTE); Dr Kashef Ijaz, from the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention and Dr Yves Souteyrand, from the World Health Organization. This joint session showed the will for a mutual collaboration among both networks and demonstrated the increasing interest in strengthening the bonds between MediPIET and EMPHNET member countries, 32 in total (MENA, Balkans, Eastern Europe, Black Sea and Central Asia). The  response to global public health threats in these countries can be improved by establishing an effective collaborative community of experts from all public health related disciplines.

During the opening ceremony, Professor Karl Ekdahl, from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and chair of the Scientific Committee of MediPIET, highlighted that both organisations share many objectives: health security, building capacities and forging people getting together. In major crisis, it is not only important to share the technical knowledge but also to know who is working on that on the other side of the border.