Infectious disease threats – Prevent, detect and respond!


Uppsala Health Summit 10 - 11 October 2017

Infectious diseases are resurfacing as a serious threat to global health, with serious consequences for social and economic stability on family level as well as on global level. The situation is worsened by the spread of antimicrobial resistance, which seriously reduces our capacity to deal with outbreaks. 

There is a multitude of interlinked drivers behind this surge, such as climate change, global travel or animal health.

In 2015, Uppsala Health Summit covered the threat from antibiotic resistance. This year at Uppsala Health Summit 2017, we will adopt a one health approach and discuss how we can manage infectious disease threats via better global and local management.

In our fast-paced, interconnected world, infectious diseases are resurfacing as a serious threat to global health, and to social and economic stability. Recently, Ebola, MERS, pandemic influenzas and Zika have revealed how vulnerable we are – especially in settings where healthcare systems are fragile – and how quickly an outbreak can become a global concern.

Multiple, interrelated drivers such as population growth and migration, poverty, deforestation, climate change and trade together create a perfect storm; the rate at which emerging disease events occur is increasing while our ability to respond is slowing down with growing antimicrobial resistance.

About 70 per cent of infectious diseases are zoonotic, i.e. they are transmitted between animals and humans. Actions aimed at reducing the risks long-term must therefore consider the strong interdependencies between people, animals and the environment. In other words, they must pursue a ‘One Health’ approach, which requires veterinarians, medical doctors, ecologists and social scientists to find solutions and implement them together.

Integrated human and animal health approaches are recognised as critical by many, for example in the WHO, FAO and OIE 2010 tripartite concept note on the importance of strengthening collaboration at the human–animal–ecosystem interface. An operational framework supported by the WHO, OIE and World Bank followed in 2014.

Uppsala Health Summit 2017 will focus on methods and tools for preventing, detecting and responding to emerging infectious diseases, using the One Health approach, such as

  • social dimensions of zoonotic risk management
  • diagnostics and coordinated laboratory operations
  • using big data for surveillance
  • vaccines – production, logistics and attitudes
  • health governance
  • research priorities
  • risk perceptions and behaviours.

Under these broad themes we will identify and select areas where policies and practices could be improved.

Who should attend Uppsala Health Summit 2017?

We are happy to receive your suggestion on who should be invited to this year’s summit. Nominate your delegate!