EU-Wastewater Integrated Surveillance for Public Health

The general objective of EU European Union (European Union)-WISH is to support the participating countries to enhance, extend and consolidate wastewater surveillance for public health.

Wastewater surveillance and related epidemiological assessment have been used during the COVID-19 pandemic as a tool to ensure timely and relevant intelligence gathering, yielding actionable, complementary data. Joint activities have proven helpful, and EU-WISH will build on and extend those activities. Regular surveillance of wastewater in combination with other indicators for the management of the COVID-19 pandemic has facilitated decision-making and it is essential in low-testing periods. Consequently, wastewater surveillance has been included more systematically in the national surveillance strategies for the prevention and control of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the level of maturity of the detection of the SARS-CoV-2 and its variants in wastewater varies among Member States.

Focus

The focus of EU-WISH is to support activities to enhance and improve national public health wastewater surveillance capacities by strengthening knowledge exchange and sharing best practices based on scientific evidence. The activities of this joint action will target and bring together relevant structures at a national level and will facilitate the integration and complementarity of wastewater surveillance with other surveillance systems with a public health perspective to strengthen preparedness and response to cross-border health threats.

Consortium

EU-WISH is a strong consortium that can contribute to a vision and activities for wastewater surveillance at not only European but also global level. 

Role of RIVM

Globally, the Netherlands is a frontrunner in executing a nationwide Wastewater Surveillance System (WSS). RIVM maintains one of the most extensive WSS, using state-of-the-art detection and typing technologies to provide high-quality data. We implement the inclusion of data analysis and modelling so that (healthcare) professionals can access and use this data. Our work receives international attention and other countries and scientists have asked RIVM to help with various aspects of wastewater surveillance systems.

RIVM will carry out EU-WISH with experts from different domains and centres within the organisation. RIVM coordinator is Willemijn Lodder.  

Funding

EU-WISH is an EU4Health project co-funded by the European Union under Grant Agreement No 101140460