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International support by RKI since 2014. Source: Andreas Haertle - Fotolia, edited by 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. RKI is the WHO Collaborating Centre for Emerging Infections and Biological Threats and also partner of WHO’s Global Outbreak Alert & Response Network, supporting affected countries world-wide to tackle outbreaks. The institute also contributes to the Global Health Protection Programme (GHPP) launched by the Federal Ministry of Health.

Since July 2017, RKI's central role in international health protection has also been fixed by law ("Gesetz zur Modernisierung der epidemiologischen Überwachung übertragbarer Krankheiten"). In January 2019, a new international department will be set up at RKI – the Centre for International Health Protection (ZIG).

Date: 17.12.2018