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Map of RKI International Projects. Source: RKI

The Robert Koch Institute as international hub for health protection networks

When there are health emergencies across the world, such as disease outbreaks, the Robert Koch Institute’s expertise is in ever greater demand. RKI staff are involved in various international research projects and programmes. They help, amongst other things, with the surveillance of pathogens, to fight disease outbreaks, provide diagnostics capacities in partner countries and to collect comparable health data in EU member states. Thus, the RKI helps to tackle urgent public health problems and improve people’s health worldwide. People in Germany also profit from this international commitment, e.g. if disease outbreaks are stopped in time.

The Robert Koch Institute cooperates with many international partners like the ECDC and the WHO and other public health institutes. RKI is the WHO Collaborating Centre for Emerging Infections and Biological Threats and for Global Outbreak Alert and Response – GOARN – and works closely with the Berlin-based WHO Hub on Pandemic and Epidemic Intelligence. The institute also contributes to the Global Health Protection Programme (GHPP) launched by the Federal Ministry of Health.

Since 2017, RKI's central role in international health protection has also been fixed by law ("Gesetz zur Modernisierung der epidemiologischen Überwachung übertragbarer Krankheiten"). Since 2019, RKI has its own international department – the Centre for International Health Protection (ZIG).

Date: 06.10.2023