Webinar "Protecting European Citizens From Current And Future Health Threats - Time to Act Now" - Juozas Olekas

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For Stronger Health in the EU webinar
"Protecting European Citizens From Current And Future Health Threats - Time to Act Now"

As Europe fights the second wave of COVID-19 and is heading to the conference on the future of Europe, the debate on strengthening health policy at European Union level is becoming increasingly important. It is not the first time that pandemics and infectious diseases hit the continent, causing difficult-to-manage social, economic and, most importantly, health crises. What have we learned from these historical and current events and what do we need to do next? How can we protect our citizens? We will look for answers to these questions in this remote webinar organized by MEP Juozas Olekas.



1:00 - 1:10 PM"Why is it time to fight rare diseases and strengthen the EU's influence in health policy now?"Juozas OLEKAS, MEP, S&D
1:10 - 1:30 PM“European response to infectious disease pandemics and outbreaks: lessons learned and future considerations”Dr Steven CHATFIELD
1:30 - 1:50 PM"Rare diseases: at the crossroads of national and European policies" Dr Birute TUMIENE
1:50 - 2:30 PMDebate and conclusionsWebinar participants

About the speakers


MEP Olekas has worked in medicine for a large part of his life. He studied at the Faculty of Medicine of Vilnius University, and later improved his knowledge at the University of Glasgow. He worked as a doctor at Vilnius University Red Cross Hospital, VU Microsurgery Center Laboratory Chief Research Fellow, VU Plastic Surgery Clinic Chief Research Fellow, and as a member of the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe. From 1996 to 2019 he worked as a member of the Lithuanian Parliament and as the Minister of Health or the Minister of National Defense in 7 governments.


Dr. Chatfield is an infectious disease expert and has worked for more than 40 years in the Biopharmaceutical Industry and the public sector developing and commercializing public health interventions such as vaccines and immunotherapies, including emerging diseases and agents that could be used as bioterror agents. Director of the Centre for Emergency Preparedness and Response within UK Health Protection Agency, he is also non-executive director for the Vaccine and Manufacturing Innovation center and advisor for the UK Vaccine Task Force.

Dr. Birutė TUMIENĖ

Dr. Tumienė is a clinical geneticist by background. She graduated at the Faculty of Medicine in Vilnius University, where she also had her residency training in clinical genetics and PhD studies in rare genetic epilepsies, while currently she gives there lectures on genetics and rare diseases. Besides, she is the Head of Unit for Genetic counselling in the Centre for Medical Genetics, and a Coordinator of International Affairs in the Coordination Centre for Rare Diseases at Vilnius University Hospital Santaros Klinikos. Her international rare diseases-related activities are intensive, with a track record of 14 years.

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