Coronavirus 23-05-2022

Several transparency issues during COVID could have been avoided, says EU watchdog

The EU response to COVID-19 has been a balancing act between being fast and being transparent. While issues still remain, European Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly tells EURACTIV about the issues she has looked into and what to consider for next time.

France’s newly appointed health minister in favour of “strengthening” Europe’s health systems

Brigitte Bourguignon was appointed France's new Minister for Health and Prevention in Elisabeth Borne's government on Friday (20 May). Olivier Véran, who she is succeeding, was appointed Minister Delegate in charge of Relations with Parliament and Democratic Life.

Mysterious monkeypox reported in 7 EU countries, raising health concerns in the bloc

Cases of the monkeypox virus, first reported in the UK on 7 May, have been spreading: as of Friday (20 May), 60 diagnoses in Europe across seven EU countries have been confirmed.

Commission aligning EU’s position ahead of world health assembly

In the run-up to the Seventy-fifth World Health Assembly starting on Sunday (22 May), the European Commission aims to align member state positions and ensure the EU-wide agreements are translated into WHO policies.

Expert: Cardiovascular health will only be improved with an EU-wide dedicated plan

EU policymakers should develop a more structured approach to improving cardiovascular diseases if the bloc wants to see tangible results in future healthcare, Dr Charmaine Griffiths, interim president of the European Heart Network (EHN) told EURACTIV in an interview.

EU cooperation key for rare diseases research, accessible treatment, says expert

France is "ahead of the curve" when it comes to treating rare diseases, but with 36 million Europeans affected, cooperation at the EU level to advance research and make treatments more accessible is essential, an expert warned. EURACTIV France reports.

Health Brief: Cross-border healthcare rights are (still) unknown

After ten years with the cross-border health directive, hardly anyone in the EU is aware of their rights to be treated in another county, the European Commission's new evaluation of the directive has revealed. Just as plenty of evaluations before them have.

Cholera outbreak: A new health concern in war-torn Ukraine

The areas in Ukraine suffering from water and sanitation infrastructure damage are at risk of a potential cholera outbreak, the World Health Organisation warned on Tuesday (17 May), adding it was already deploying cholera kits on the ground. 

UK worried monkeypox might be spreading among men who have sex with men

Four additional cases of monkeypox were detected in the UK among men who have sex with men leading to concerns about the virus spreading in the community. 
Coronavirus 17-05-2022

EU may terminate vaccine purchase agreement with French drugmaker Valneva

A manufacturer of one of the four COVID-19 vaccines currently under rolling review by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) received notice from the European Commission that the advance purchase agreement of over 24 million doses might be terminated.

Nearly one billion disabled people cannot access assistive technology

Almost one billion children and adults with disabilities, as well as older persons, do not have access to the assistive technology they need, warned a new report by the World Health Organisation, whose chief urged all the countries to make this issue a priority.

Europe needs screening to kill its number one killer, stakeholders say

The pandemic should be seen as a wake-up call for EU policymakers to take a more focused approach toward cardiovascular diseases (CVD), Europe’s number one killer, as patients have already paid a heavy price due to COVID-19, stakeholders have warned.
Coronavirus 13-05-2022

First European Parliament’s COVID committee meeting reveals broad scope of topics ahead

The very first meeting in the European Parliament’s new COVID-19 committee (COVI), did not bring about any substantial debate, but revealed the broad range of topics MEPs wish to address in the quest to collect lessons learnt from the pandemic.
Coronavirus 12-05-2022

Half of hospitalised COVID-19 patients in China still have symptoms after two years

A follow-up study found that two years after being hospitalised with COVID-19 in China, over half still have at least one symptom. 

Commission: Disputed antimicrobial should be restricted, but not reserved for human use

European lawmakers are still not impressed by the EU executive's strong defence of its stance on the disputed antimicrobial colistin, as disagreements surrounding the list of antimicrobials to be reserved for human use continue.

Adenovirus, COVID-19 examined as possible cause for mysterious hepatitis

As acute hepatitis cases of unknown origin continue to grow across the globe, the investigation into its origin is ongoing. While the leading hypothesis is adenovirus, the link to COVID-19 is also being looked at. 

Health brief: The barriers to disability inclusion in the workforce

Setting up efficient strategies to create a more inclusive society is complicated by a lack of data, according to a recent publication, despite the fact that nearly 100 million people are disabled in the EU.
Coronavirus 11-05-2022

ECDC and EASA scrap mandatory mask-wearing on flights

Two EU agencies governing aviation safety and disease control have on Wednesday (11 May) announced that mandatory medical mask-wearing on flights is no longer recommended but that rules will be left to the discretion of each airline. 

Citizen voices, trust and solid legal basis needed for efficient use of health data

Health stakeholders welcome the European Health Data Space (EHDS) as an ambitious initiative but highlight citizens’ rights and representation in the system's governance as vital.

Obesity community on a quest of becoming ‘louder’

Obesity is a complex multifactorial disease that affects almost 60% of adults and one in three children in Europe. The obesity community has to become louder and change the harmful narrative of 'eat less, move more', Jacqueline Bowman-Busato told EURACTIV in an interview. 

WHO verified over 200 attacks on healthcare in Ukraine

Over 200 healthcare facilities in Ukraine have been attacked since Russia's invasion, according to data verified by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Legal issues, not infrastructure hampers research in health data revolution

A European Health Data Space (EHDS) could enormously impact health research if it can overcome barriers to cross-border secondary use of health data and create trust amongst citizens, according to a Finnish health data stakeholder.
Agrifood 09-05-2022

EU not on track to reduce livestock antibiotics, say campaigners

EU and national policies are not ambitious enough to reach the bloc's goal of halving antibiotic use in livestock farming by 2030, according to campaigners, who warn that without sufficient action, humans will also be at risk from antimicrobial resistance.

Food supplements: Policymakers ask for more consumer information, fewer grey areas

The use of food supplements is on the rise in Europe and this has prompted calls from stakeholders and lawmakers to revise the 20-year-old legislation currently in place and make sure it is applied uniformly across the bloc.