RIVM invests in partnerships with various European and international partner institutes to jointly tackle public health challenges. For instance, in June RIVM hosted a management delegation from its German sister institute Bundesinstitut für Risikobewertung (BfR) in Berlin. In November, the board of RIVM joined the Ministry of Health, Welfare, and Sport on a visit to Public Health Wales, the Welsh PHI located in Cardiff.
On 6 and 7 October, within the context of the International Collaboration for Health (IC4Health partnership) that was established in 2015, RIVM welcomed representatives from two French organisations – Santé publique France and the Agence Nationale de Sécurité Sanitaire de l’Alimentation, de l’Environnement et du Travail (ANSES) – and Norway’s Folkehelse Institutet (FHI) to a launch meeting.
UN Sustainable Development Goals
An RIVM delegation paid a working visit to the World Health Organisation (WHO) headquarters in Geneva. They had the opportunity to meet with directors and lead officers from five different WHO divisions, share key examples of their own work, and explore new opportunities for collaboration. The WHO expressed its appreciation for the contributions from RIVM’s WHO Collaborating Centres. The Global Sustainable Development Goals were also discussed. These goals provide an important framework for all UN organisations and the WHO over the coming years.
Within the framework of the European Commission's Horizon 2020 research programme, RIVM started work on a 4-year research project called INHERIT (Intersectoral Health and Environment Research for Innovation). The INHERIT project takes an intersectoral approach and is on the cutting edge of environment, health, and sustainability. Together with their project partners, RIVM has lead and developed a baseline review and a conceptual model, which will help in guiding deliberations regarding what behavioural changes are necessary to lead to a sustainable society.
In the past year, there have also been discussions with Indonesia about climate, air quality, and waste.
In 2016, partnerships were continued with a range of countries to support the Ministries' activities. For instance, RIVM partnered with organisations in Indonesia, China, India and Russia on such subjects as antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and the One Health initiative, which encourages human-veterinary information exchange and collaboration.
Workshop in China: working together on antibiotic resistance
In September 2016, RIVM organised a workshop in China about addressing antibiotic resistance. The most important objectives were collaboration, knowledge sharing, and encouraging good use of surveillance data. The main theme of the visit was the One Health philosophy: what are all the various stakeholders – science, public health, healthcare, the livestock sector, and the government – doing to map antibiotic resistance in humans, animals, and environment and contribute to integrated AMR control? This was the first time these parties came together in China to discuss the topic.
In recent years, RIVM helped elevate China's AMR surveillance network to a national level. It is important to gain insight into which resistant bacteria can be found at which locations, and China is investing considerable effort towards that end. The next step is converting that surveillance data into targeted practical measures to control antibiotic resistance. In support of these efforts, RIVM demonstrated how we think and operate in the Netherlands.