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SUMMARY OF THE ACTIVITIES OF THE NATIONAL CENTER FOR EPIDEMIOLOGY
IN 2010


 

NCE is the national competent body for the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the member of the Epidemiological Surveillance Component of the Community Network (ESCON). The director and senior members of the Centre are members in the Boards and permanent Committees of ECDC and participated as national expert, "focal point" in the specific epidemiological/microbiological networks.

As national contact point, we collaborated with the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) and joined into the activity of the European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines (EDQM) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in the field of immunobiological products.

The Vaccine Control Laboratory in NCE is one of the six National Control Laboratories (NCL) in Europe accredited by WHO, being responsible for the control and quality control of human vaccines.

Amid the responsibilities of NCE within the frame of international (WHO) cooperation belonging to our national mandatory epidemiological tasks, based on the international covenants and agreements signed by the Ministry of Health and the Government, our Centre organized and supervised the following programmes:

  • morbilli and rubella elimination
  • global polio eradication (AFP-surveillance).

Within the frame of its wide scope of activities as state task, NCE:

  • conducted the national technical supervision of communicable diseases;
  • controlled the epidemiological microbiological diagnostic tasks from technical-methodological aspects;
  • performed the examination of highly dangerous pathogens in the National Safety Laboratory (BSL3-4). With the activities of its National Reference Laboratories, NCE as Reference Centre supported the activities of the microbiological laboratories in Hungary;
  • performed - based on the Resolution 2000/96 EC- the surveillance and diagnostics of notifiable diseases;
  • operated:
    • the National Drug Focal Point,
    • the National Nosocomial Surveillance System,
    • the microbiological data basis for monitoring of antimicrobial resistance of pathogens,
    • the International Travellers Health and Vaccination Centre;
  • planned, evaluated and supervised the national immunisation system having international recognition;
  • collaborated with the Office of the Chief Medical Officer for the continuous updating of procedures;
  • made recommendation for the preparedness of epidemiological emergency situation and controlled the suspected cases of bio-terrorism; and
  • maintained and continuously extended the Hungarian National Strain Collection of Medical Bacteria and the National Virus Strain Bank where the animal pathogens dangerous for the humans were also included.

The required data service, evaluation and reports for the smooth change of the government were provided fully and in time. The initial steps for the point-prevalence survey organized by the ECDC were started, and we participated in the pilot study for this programme. The visit by the representatives of the ECDC-EPIET programme had a very favourable outcome, and the EU fellow started his 2-year training in the NCE.
A very successful Hand Hygiene Day (May 5) initiated by the WHO was organised first time, within the frame a special scientific meeting. The scientific meeting on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) under the auspices of the Secretary of State (organized in the Ministry of National Resources, November 18) gained success and a wide media interest.

The development of the NPHMOS National Technical Information System (Project EKOP-3.1.1.) and the improvement of complex information system increasing the rapid response potential of NPHMOS were aimed for the support of internal and external efficiency.

In 2010, an extreme economical and "disciplined" management was characteristic that made possible a very careful, reduced operation, measures regarding both material and human resources. Despite of the financial restrictions, the basic resources for operation could be provided through tenders, entrepreneurial contracts.

The accredited status of three units within the Division of Virology and five units of Division of Bacteriology, Mycology, Parasitology and Typing, the Microbiological Research Group, and the Department of QC Viral Vaccines and Department of Disinfection was not changed.

In 2010, the following achievements are particularly valuable:

  • Our National Reference Laboratories achieved excellent results in the international collaborative studies.
  • The Department of Quality Control together with the Reference Laboratories continued the organization of traditional collaborative tests with the participation of national laboratories, and their results were published by the Heads of Reference Laboratories in the Microbiological Circular.
  • The Unit of Culture Medium with ISO qualification is the largest productive unit among the NCEs Departments/Laboratories that produced 675 medium types in a quantity higher than in the previous year for the Regional Institutes of NPHMOS and several other customers.
  • With our colleagues' contribution, the weekly 'Epinfo', the monthly 'Droginfo' and the quarterly 'Mikrobiológiai körlevél' (Microbiological Circular) were published in addition to the preparation of many public guides and posters, and our English-language web-site was developed also.
  • The international epidemiological situation was followed through the web-site of EWRS and IHR rapid response system. We informed the decision-makers about the important foreign epidemiological events. After adequate checking, the national epidemiological events with international significance were reported to the international organizations, focusing on influenza pandemic from May.
  • Weekly, the staff in the Department of Epidemiology prepared detailed information on the national epidemiological situation. Quarterly, they published the reported data on HIV/AIDS and STDs on the home pages of OCMO and NCE and in the 'Epinfo' also.
  • We operated the influenza surveillance. We prepared and organized the distribution of 1 million and 300 thousand doses of free seasonal influenza vaccine and of 1.2 million doses of Fluval P vaccine.
  • We published the 'Methodological Letter for Immunisation' for 2011.
  • We supervised and evaluated the fulfilment of continuous and campaign vaccinations by age.
  • We controlled and evaluated the voluntary and free vaccination against pneomococcus for the children under two years; it was included in the continuous vaccination schedule.
  • We supervised the suspected cases of bio-terrorism and made risk assessment and testing and risk assessment for 237 parcels with suspicion for anthrax.
  • The so-called "Report Support Program" was operated. It provided the inclusion of microbiological reports electronically forwarded into the EFRIR system, replacing the manual data recording.
  • The "Metrological Team" gave continuous assistance for the preparations for the accreditation and their operation constituted significant cost-saving for the Centre.

Within the field of professional primary and further education, the following facts should be stressed:

  • A monthly professional day and two national conferences were organized for the epidemiologists in the Regional Institutes of NPHMOS; two national conferences and several consultations and seminars were held for the professionals in hospital hygiene; and a national conference was held for the professionals in the field of DDD-activity.
  • In 16 groups by 12 occasions a three-day theoretical and practical course was organised for epidemiological and IT training with continuous consultation for 193 participants.
  • Within the frame of "Week of Virology", one-week, mandatory facultative training for credit point was held two times. Specialists, MDs, microbiologists from the whole country attended this training to brush up their knowledge and to receive up to date information.
  • The new scientific results were introduced within the training course called 'Day of Virology' and providing credit point.
  • It was our young colleagues initiative to organize a professional forum with a title of 'Tea Break' as a forum for presentations and discussion.
  • The Centre managed the organization of Conference of Immunization (Budapest), the National Workshop for Epidemiologists (Balatonvilágos).
  • A three-day HIV counselling course was organised for 30 participants engaged in HIV/AIDS counselling.

The NCE's special professional tasks and their importance have increased recently; the determination of international goals related to epidemiological safety and the emerging epidemiological events that became a topical issue required serious professional preparations, therefore. All these special tasks, the epidemiological work due to inland waters and floods, the problem of antimicrobial resistance, the hospital and field outbreaks, the newly and re-emerging communicable diseases could be managed effectively only through sustaining the rapid response capacity.

All members of the Centre's staff satisfied the increasingly widening scope of demands with their professional knowledge and conscientious works every day of the year without the staff and resource increase.

Dr. Márta Melles
Director-General


International relations

Collaboration with international institutes

National Centres established in NCE and participating in international programmes

Participation in international working committees

 


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