Austria Adopts National Action Plan for Rare Diseases

May 2, 2015

Austria has adopted its national action plan for rare diseases. The goal of the action plan is to improve the lives of all rare disease patients and takes into account European recommendations and national requirements. It was developed by the National Coordination Centre for Rare Diseases on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Health.

Verification process for measles and rubella

During European Immunization Week, Abigail Shefer and Mark Muscat, both from the Vaccine-preventable Diseases and Immunization programme at WHO/Europe, and Guenter Pfaff, incoming Chairperson of the Regional Verification Commission for Measles and Rubella Elimination, will visit Austria on 20–22 April 2015.

During their 3-day visit, they will meet with experts from the Austrian Federal Ministry of Health, the National Reference Laboratory for Measles and Rubella, and the Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety, as well as from the National Verification Committee to discuss the verification process in Austria. They will visit a district in Lower Austria, where recent measles cases were reported, and meet with experts from the District Health Department. The visit also includes a half day seminar on measles and rubella for health professionals focusing on exposure in health care settings. A press conference on the morning of April 22 will conclude the visit.

Meeting on nosocomial infections in support of Hand Hygiene Day

Correct hand hygiene is one of the most important yet simple measures to protect against infections. In everyday life, washing hands can prevent infections. In hospitals, correct hand hygiene protects patients in particular. WHO emphasizes the importance of correct hand hygiene by celebrating Hand Hygiene Day on 5 May. Therefore, the Federal Ministry of Health, in co-operation with partners Gesundheit Österreich GmbH (GÖG) and the national reference centre for nosocomial infections and antibiotic resistance, has organized a meeting on nosocomial infections in special patient groups to take place on 5 May 2015. The meeting focuses on members of hygiene teams and quality assurance and all engaged in surveillance and prevention of nosocomial infections. Participation is free, but registration is required.


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