Euroroundups Open Access
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The 25 European overseas countries and territories (OCTs) are closely associated with the European Union (EU) through the four related UE Member States: Denmark, France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. In 2008 and 2009, these four EU Member States, in association with the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), reviewed the OCTs' needs, with the objectives of documenting their capacity to prevent and respond to infectious diseases outbreaks, and identifying deficiencies. This Euroroundup is based on the review's main findings, and presents an overview of the OCTs' geography and epidemiology, briefly introduces the legal basis on which they are linked to the EU and describes the surveillance and infectious disease response systems. As a result of their diversity the OCTs have heterogeneous epidemiological profiles. A common factor, however, is that the main burden of disease is non-communicable. Nevertheless, OCTs remain vulnerable to infectious diseases outbreaks. Their capacity for surveillance, early detection and response to such outbreaks is generally limited, with laboratory capacity issues and lack of human resources. Avenues for capacity strengthening should be explored by the OCTs and the related EU Member States, in collaboration with ECDC and regional public health networks where these exist. .


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