What are the most relevant diseases in a country? Which risk factors are the strongest contributors to disease and death? How is the impact of different diseases evolving over time, and how does it compare between countries and within subnational units? As the need for prioritising the use of available resources constantly increases, a timely, sound and comprehensive answer to these fundamental questions is more than ever needed to inform public health decision making. Driven by the impact of the Global Burden of Disease study, several researchers and national and international health institutes have adopted the burden of disease approach to address these questions.
The complexity of the burden of disease approach however resulted in major disparities in research capacity across Europe. Furthermore, the current burden of disease landscape remains scattered, and researchers struggle to translate their findings to decision makers. The burden-eu COST Action will address these challenges by acting as a technical platform for integrating and strengthening capacity in burden of disease assessment across Europe and beyond. To achieve this mission, the Action is cooperating with the European Burden of Disease Network of the WHO Regional Office for Europe.
The following specific objectives have been defined to achieve the overall aim:
Research coordination objectives
- To bring together experts and expertise across different domains, transforming the currently scattered burden of disease landscape into one transnational team.
- To compare and harmonize methods and approaches for burden of disease assessment.
- To identify critical knowledge and data gaps, and set up studies for which international coordination is needed.
- To serve as an advocacy group for the burden of disease approach in Europe.
Capacity building objectives
- To build and increase capacity in burden of disease assessment across Europe. The Action will have an explicit focus on the involvement of specific target groups, including Early Career Investigators, the under-represented gender, and teams and countries with less capacity in the field of burden of disease.
- To serve as a technical platform where knowledge and expertise can be shared among established and emerging researchers.
- To promote an interdisciplinary approach that integrates knowledge translation in the classical burden of disease framework.