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PANDEM-2 Workshop | Italian Red Cross

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PANDEM-2 Workshop | New challenges for cross-border pandemic management

Italian red cross association

14th July 2023, Rome, Italy

PANDEM-2 partners, the Italian Red Cross recently hosted a national workshop focusing on new challenges that face cross-border pandemic management that brought pandemic managers, nurses, government officials, first responders, military corp and more together to discuss this ongoing issue. Specific groups and organisations included the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Defense, Civil Protection Department, Volunteer Military Corps and Corps of Volunteer Nurses CRI – Crocerossine.

Firstly, it’s important to remind ourselves of the context and story that has led to this point. Antiquity, pandemics and epidemics represent a severe challenge to human beings, causing health emergencies loss of lives and economic crises. The recent Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) was certainly the most serious pandemic in contemporary history, and it stimulated ethical dilemmas and challenges for the scientific community, civil security and emergency response strategies. However, the COVID-19 pandemic is just one of the epidemiological emergencies that human beings have known and faced. Equally, different scenarios with a transnational character are expected to occur in the future causing a similar health, population and environmental impact which will require the interaction of different institutions and collaboration between different countries with a shared strategy.

The impact of the pandemic, and of other possible scenarios, has affected the protection of life and physical integrity, our social assets, and our socio-economic system. This has created demand for a response to the increasingly diverse needs of society and multidisciplinary and transversal methods for a shared, informed and coordinated response at a national and supranational level. An answer that includes health, social welfare, juridical, macro and microeconomic aspects is essential in this case.

The pandemic experience can be further capitalized: COVID-19 has in fact shed light on the issue of managing and coordinating emergencies and highlighted the importance of having cross-border interactions and a transnational impact which require (i) tools for sharing information and (ii) integrating forecasting and management models between agencies, entities and between countries. The pandemic experience actually stimulated research to set up tools and response methods in support of cross-border emergencies such as nuclear or chemical events, industrial accidents, or emergencies such as drought, pollution and spills in international waters and events that may have natural or anthropic origin but which share a transnational character and therefore require synergy and collaboration between multiple institutions and countries.

Has the COVID-19 experience made us more resilient in responding to epidemiological emergencies? What tools can we capitalize on to develop and integrate cross-border emergency response strategies by developing synergies with a transnational, multidisciplinary and integrated approach? These were the questions asked at the PANDEM-2 project’s latest workshop hosted by the Italian Red Cross.

Opening the workshop in Rome earlier this month, President Rosario Valastro said:

Covid-19 has shown us how such great challenges can only be faced together. Preparation, sharing and analysis of intervention models are the keys to responding effectively to future emergencies


The workshop aimed to create an opportunity for the analysis of cross-border emergencies by focusing on the pandemic experience and its transnational character (also common to other types of risks and events). This offered an opportunity to compare experiences that the various key players have gained and which can become a starting point for synergies in future activities related to preparedness and response to emergencies and for shared projects.

Consistent with the role that the Italian Red Cross has in the PANDEM-2 project, the workshop aimed to enhance the lessons learned at a national level, in a multidisciplinary perspective and to experience the added value of the tools prototyped by PANDEM-2 in real-life response scenarios for epidemiological emergencies. Within this, there was also the objective of verifying whether the same tools can be useful, more generally, in emergency scenarios with a cross-border character, albeit of a non-epidemiological nature.

Some of the additional topics discussed at the workshop were as follows:

  • How technology applied to emergency response can support the international community by improving its response capacity and resilience
  • The need to strengthen the synergy and the network between institutions and actors at national, European and international level in preparation for new challenges in the management of pandemic emergencies (from Covid to Ebola passing through the epidemiological risks that every disaster presents – experience sharing and good practices)
  • The importance of sharing a coordination system in cross-border and transnational emergencies: which models can be replicated in health or biological, chemical, nuclear emergencies or in those emergencies that can potentially have a large-scale cross-border impact
  • What is the potential of the IT tools developed by PANDEM-2 in responding to different needs?

The workshop, therefore, provided participants with the opportunity to explore the PANDEM-2 system, to test and experience it in practice and verify its integration with other possible data collection and data analysis tools. This was another major milestone for PANDEM-2 as the lead developers of the project had the opportunity to demonstrate tools such as the PANDEM-2 Dashboard with key stakeholders from the pandemic management sector and directly address their needs when it comes to preparedness and response.

Author: Italian Red Cross

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