Heads of China CDC and UK Health Security Agency meet online
Prof. Shen Hongbing, director-general of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC), met with Prof. Jenny Harries, chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency, via video link on Dec 19.
Shen said that the China CDC has cooperated with its UK partners over the past years. The China CDC signed MOUs with the Public Health England in 2015 and 2018, and experts from the China CDC also held technical exchanges with their UK counterparts in the fields of salt reduction, public health emergency response, laboratory safety, environmental health and vaccine evaluation.
He said that the China CDC will work with the UK side to support the implementation of the WHO’s development project on public health human resources in the future. In addition, the two sides can further explore cooperation in such fields as the application of new technologies in infectious disease prevention and control, risk assessment, and global health, Shen said.
Harries said that the UK Health Security Agency is a new institute and the cooperation with the China CDC will help the two agencies to better fulfill their functions. In the future, the two institutions will carry out exchanges on coronavirus variants, viral hepatitis, AIDS, prevention of diseases through vaccination, and capacity building at grassroots public healthcare facilities, she added.
Experts from both sides also exchanged views on work progress and cooperation intentions in the fields of COVID-19, influenza and global health.
Prof. Susan Hopkins, chief medical adviser of the UK Health Security Agency, Prof. Isabel Oliver, chief scientific officer, Gemma Lien, head of global strategy, Tim Elwell-Sutton, deputy director of bilateral engagement in the Department of Health and Social Care, UK , and Helen Dewberry from the British Embassy in China, attended the webinar.
The UK Health Security Agency was established in April 2021. It aims to coordinate and strengthen the ability to respond to public health emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Before acting as its chief executive, Harries had served as the regional director and deputy medical director of the Public Health Agency of England in South England. She also participated in health policy, assessment and clinical medicine projects in Pakistan, India, New Zealand and other countries.