RIVER-EU ("Reducing Inequalities in Vaccine uptake in the European Region - Engaging Underserved communities"), is a 5-year (2021-2026) Horizon2020 project coordinated by the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG). Along with EuroHealthNet – which will serve as the Communication and Dissemination Work Package lead – three EuroHealthNet members/observers are represented in the consortium: THL (Finland), PHE (England) and PROLEPSIS (Greece).
The project will work to improve access to two specific vaccines, MMR and HPV, among specific underserved communities in: Greece (refugees and migrants), the Netherlands (adolescents of Turkish and Moroccan origins), Poland (Ukrainian economic migrants) and Slovakia (Roma populations) by identifying and removing health system barriers. The project will collect evidence on health system determinants of low vaccine uptake (barriers) in the five aforementioned communities, as well as on high vaccine uptake (enablers) in three underserved communities in: the UK (the Bangladeshi community), Israel (the Arab Israeli community) and Finland (the Somali community). The gathered evidence will provide an increased understanding of determinants of low and high vaccine uptake in specific contexts. On the basis of this evidence, RIVER-EU will identify and/or develop promising system-level interventions tailored to underserved communities in order to reduce barriers to vaccine uptake. These interventions will be piloted in Greece, the Netherlands, Poland and Slovakia and the results will be converted into evidence-based guidelines to address equitable access to vaccination across Europe.
IMMUNION ("Improving IMMunisation cooperation in the European UNION"), is a 2-year project (2021-2023) funded by the European Union Health Programme. Led by EuroHealthNet, the project brings together members of the Coalition for Vaccination (established by the EU in 2019), as well as partners across the EU with the ultimate goal to increase vaccine confidence and uptake. Building on learnings from vaccination efforts at national, regional and global level, IMMUNION will add value to existing EU and national initiatives, particularly the Coalition for Vaccination, by increasing stakeholder collaboration to address issues of access to accurate information about vaccination. This will be primarily achieved through strategies focused on communication and training targeted to health professionals and the public.
Partners include the three Co-Chairs of the Coalition for Vaccination: CPME (the Standing Committee of European Doctors), EFN (the European Federation of Nursing Associations), PGEU (the Pharmacists Group of the European Union), as well as a think tank participating in the Coalition for Vaccination (the Vienna Vaccine Safety Initiative). Three EuroHealthNet members/observers will participate in the project: the Latvian Center for Disease Prevention and Control (SPKC), the Italian National Institute of Health (ISS) and the Institute of Preventive Medicine, Environmental and Occupational Health (PROLEPSIS, Greece). The consortium also includes one university (the University of Antwerp) and two media and communications firms (EURACTIV Poland and Europa Media (Hungary)).
Activities are spread across six complementary and inter-linking work packages which are joined together by a focus on effective communication – both within the health sector and to wider groups in society. Activities include the development of a dedicated Coalition for Vaccination website with integration to the planned SEKI (Strengthening Knowledge and Education in Immunisation) Platform, a Training-of-Trainers Workshop on vaccine communication for health professionals, developing National Toolboxes of vaccination communication best practices in four countries, improving media liaisons with health professionals, and improving the visibility of the Coalition for Vaccination. Expected outcomes include increased awareness and use of validated training vaccine communication materials, increased ability for health professionals and students to communicate about vaccines, enhanced media reporting on vaccination, and improved overall equity in vaccination for populations with lower vaccine coverage.
IMMUNION officially kicks off on 1 April 2021, with the Kick-off Meeting held virtually on April 13 and 15. The Kick-off Meeting will bring together all project partners, European Commission officials, and members of the project’s Scientific Advisory Board, representing experts in health, vaccines, communication, and health equity.
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Med Dialogue for Rights and Equality: Sharing insights on COVID-19 communication and access to information in the EU and MENA regions
In January 2021, EuroHealthNet launched its first collaboration with the Med Dialogue for Rights and Equality, an EU-funded technical assistance programme strengthening CSOs active in the Southern Neighborhood and Euro-Mediterranean space. In collaboration with the project coordinator, Maharat Foundation, EuroHealthNet is organising a series of webinars focused on access to public health information: a key for public accountability and health equity in times of COVID-19. The aim of these webinars, and an associated online advocacy campaign, is to provide guidance on current international practice for sharing information on COVID-19 and public health measures to reduce its spread. The collaboration showcases examples from both the EU and MENA context in order to enhance the provision of accurate and transparent information about COVID-19 statistics and prevention measures, particularly via media, to support the health of the population and to help end the pandemic. The project will run for the first half of 2021.
The practice platform has recently worked on three projects:
Health4LGBTI: Reducing health inequalities experienced by LGBTI people
This pilot project will increase our understanding of how best to reduce specific health inequalities experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and intersex (LGBTI) people, focussing in particular on overlapping inequalities stemming from discrimination and unfair treatment on other grounds (e.g. older, younger, refugee, immigrant, disability, rural, poverty).
VulnerABLE: Improving the health of those in isolated and vulnerable situations
This European initiative shall increase our understanding of how best to improve the health of people who are living in vulnerable and isolated situations across Europe.
EU Compass for Action on Mental Health and Wellbeing
EuroHealthNet is a partner in the Mental Health Policy consortium which is organising the further development and implementation of the ‘EU Compass for Action on Mental Health and Wellbeing’. Between 2015-18 the EU Compass will be further developed into a revised web-based mechanism to collect, exchange and analyse information on policy and stakeholder activities in the field of mental health and wellbeing. In this context, the key roles of the Consortium will be to:
1) collect information on policies, good practices, ongoing developments in EU Member States;
2) engage with stakeholders throughout Member States and among non-governmental actors, raising their awareness and seeking their support and endorsement of scientific-based consensus papers through national and European meetings and activities; and
3) widely disseminate the activities and information in the Compass to reach a greater number of stakeholders which should become an operational tool for stakeholders and the EC
In consultation with DG Sanco and CHAFEA seven topics have been identified and will be addressed by the Consortium. These are:
1. Prevention of depression and promotion of resilience
2. Provision of more accessible mental health services
3. Provision of community-based mental health services
4. Prevention of suicide
5. Mental health at workplace
6. Mental health in schools
7. Building integrated approaches for governance
The project is complementary to the Joint Action for Mental Health and Wellbeing.
The INHERIT project is managed by the Research platform.
Past projects have covered:
- Active and healthy ageing and age friendly environments
- Health Literacy
- HIV prevention
- Implementing Health in All Policies
- Initiatives to stimulate action on social and economic determinants of health
- Action to Reduce health Inequity Via 1) Early childhood development, 2) Realising fair employment, and 3) Social protection. (DRIVERS)
- scenarios of sustainable lifestyles in 2050
- social gradients in health inequalities among families and children