Health for All, this is the ambitious proclamation of the World Health Organization (WHO). The HFA response to accelerated global change and to ensure that individuals, countries and organizations are prepared to meet the challenges of the 21st Century. In order to improve global health, the process includes extensive consultation with a wide range of partners for health, comprising governmental and non-governmental organisations, the private sector, the United Nations, etc. One essential task of the WHO is to promote and conduct research in the field of health. It was recognized that collaboration with national institutions and laboratories would be an optimal way to realize WHO policies and programmes.
Over the decades, the WHO developed a global network of collaborating centres (CC), which is being updated continuously. In Germany, there are about 41 WHO-CCs which provide their expertise in various research fields.
In May 2001, the Institute for Hygiene and Public Health of the University of Bonn was designated WHO CC for Health Promoting Water Management and Risk Communication (WaMRi). The Institute has got a long tradition in water hygiene. Since 1905 it has been the Municipal and State Investigation Office for Water Hygiene. In 1994 Professor Dr. Martin Exner became Director of the Institute. 60 people work at the institute 50% of which belong to the scientific staff. They work in the research fields of water microbiology, water chemistry, hygiene of technical systems, hospital hygiene, surveillance of nosocomi infections, Public Health and Medical Geography, environmental mycology, testing of disinfectants, etc.
With regard to the terms of reference the work of the WHO-CC focuses upon normative and regulative work including the revision of the Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality and the London Protocol on Water and Health to the 1992 Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundar Watercourses and International Lakes. The activities of the WHO-CC comprise the elaboration of holistic water management concepts including HACCP and GIS, Surveillance of water-related diseases, communication of health risks, technical guidance documentation (Legionella in drinking water installation systems, water supply in health care facilities, outbreak and incident management), group training and liaison with WHO regional and country offices, particularly the European Centre for Environment and Health (ECEH).
Our intention of the WaMRi-Newsletter is to give an overview about recent and future projects of the WHO CC, interesting internet links and references, upcoming global events in the field of water management and risk communication and research results. We will publish it several times a year and would be glad if we reached an interested community in the field of water research. Also we would appreciate any contributions and comments to the newsletter to fulfil our task to disseminate important aspects of health promoting water management and risk communication.
WHO CC Newsletter No. 1: high (pdf, 0.3 MB)