WHO, Germany to base new global intel hub for pandemics in Berlin

The World Health Organization in collaboration with the Germany is set to establish a new global centre for pandemic and epidemic intelligence, data, surveillance, and analytics innovation in Berlin.

The scientific information hub, which is set to work with partners around the world, will lead innovations in data analytics across the largest network of global data to predict, detect, prevent, prepare for and respond to pandemic and epidemic risks worldwide.

“The current Covid-19 pandemic has taught us that we can only fight pandemics and epidemics together. The new WHO Hub will be a global platform for pandemic prevention, bringing together various governmental, academic and private sector institutions.

“I am delighted that WHO chose Berlin as its location and invite partners from all around the world to contribute to the WHO hub,” said German Chancellor, Dr Angela Merkel.

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The WHO Hub for Pandemic and Epidemic Intelligence, which is a part of WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme, will be a new collaboration of countries and partners worldwide to help in driving innovations to increase the availability and linkage of diverse data, developing tools and predictive models for risk analysis, and to monitor disease control measures, community acceptance and infodemics.

“We need to identify pandemic and epidemic risks as quickly as possible, wherever they occur in the world. For that aim, we need to strengthen the global early warning surveillance system with an improved collection of health-related data and inter-disciplinary risk analysis,” she said.

WHO’s Director-General, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, said working with partners globally, the WHO Hub will drive a scale-up in innovation for existing forecasting and early warning capacities in WHO and the member states, accelerating the global collaborations across public and private sector organizations, academia, and international partner networks.

It will help the watchdogs to collaborate and co-create the necessary tools for managing and analyzing data for early warning surveillance. It will also promote greater access to data and information.

“One of the lessons of Covid-19 is that world needs a significant leap forward in data analysis to help leaders make informed public health decisions,” said Dr Ghebreyesus.

“This requires harnessing the potential of advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, combining diverse data sources, and collaborating across multiple disciplines. Better data and better analytics will lead to better decisions.”

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