COST Action CA18218

CATINCA: Synergies between burden-EU COST and the countries of Central Asia and the Southern Caucasus

Dr. Alexander Rommel, scientific researcher with Robert Koch Institute, Germany, is in the burden-eu spotlight to discuss the CATINCA (Capacities and infrastructures for health policy development) initiative.


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What is the rationale of CATINCA?

Most of the countries of Central Asia and the South Caucasus are member states of World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Europe, but are only eligible to a limited extent of European Union research funding. To address the existing inequalities in the digital use of health data and evidence-based policy-making, we developed the idea to link Central Asia and the Southern Caucasus closer to the European Burden of Disease Network (burden-EU COST action) through additional funding. The scientific network "CATINCA - Capacities and infrastructures for health policy development" was applied for by the Burden of Disease working group at the Robert Koch Institute, Berlin.

Who are the partners and what is the scope?

After COVID-19-related delays, CATINCA was finally approved by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research under a call for cooperation with the Southern Caucasus and Central Asia for a funding period of three years. Prof. Brecht Devleesschauwer and Dr. Katarzyna Kissimova-Skarbek represent the burden-EU COST action as project partners. Members from the target region are ministries, governmental bodies, university institutes and non-governmental organization's from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The overall aim is to build methodological skills, to improve data infrastructures with regard to the calculation of summary measures of population health, and to contribute to the development of policy-relevant health information systems.

How will CATINCA cooperate with burden-EU COST action?

Through a trilateral exchange with Germany and the European partners of the burden-EU COST action, the target countries of CATINCA can participate in the activities and developments of the burden-EU COST action and beyond. Country-specific use cases (based on regional available data) such as the burden of cancer, diabetes, tuberculosis or due to Hepatitis B/C are now developed for the integration of health-related summary measures into modern information systems. Close synergies with the burden-EU COST action will be created at various points of the project. Next to activities such as the use of training materials and the organization of joint events, it is planned to recruit supervisors for master's and PhD theses of graduates from the target countries among the members of the burden-EU COST action. If you are generally interested in working as a supervisor on specific topics or have questions about the project, please contact Dr. Alexander Rommel at the Robert Koch-Institute (). Specific requests for voluntary participation in the project will be sent on occasion to the burden-EU COST action member mailing list.

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COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology – see www.cost.eu) is a unique platform where European researchers can jointly develop their ideas and initiatives across all scientific disciplines through trans-European networking of nationally funded research. COST is supported by the European Union (EU) Horizon 2020 Programme.

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