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WHO Collaborating Centres at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health

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Norway currently hosts eight WHO Collaborating Centres, and two of these are co-ordinated by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

WHO Collaborating Centres can be research institutes or parts of universities, hospitals or academies, which are appointed by the WHO Director-General to implement and follow up activities that support WHO programmes. Today there are over 800 such centres in more than 80 member states.

To be eligible, an institution must meet certain requirements, such as being able to demonstrate successful collaboration over several years with the WHO with regard to planning and completing designated activities. Only those institutions with a long and solid history of contributing to WHO programme activities will be considered to become a Collaborating Centre. 

WHO Collaborating Centre for Drug Statistics Methodology

The tasks of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Drug Statistics Methodology are to develop and maintain the ATC (Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical) classification system and DDD (Defined Daily Dose) as a measuring unit for drug utilization or consumption. The ATC/DDD system is recommended by the WHO to estimate drug use and has become the gold standard for international drug utilization research.

The Centre was established in 1982 when Norway was given the task to establish a WHO centre responsible for classifying drugs. The Centre was initially connected to the WHO Regional Office for Europe in Copenhagen. However, the collaboration between the Centre and WHO expanded and, since 1996, the Collaborating Centre has been associated with WHO Headquarters in Geneva. The Centre is organized within the Department of Pharmacoepidemiology at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. Work is carried out in collaboration with the Centre’s international expert group appointed by WHO Headquarters in Geneva.

WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Meningococci

The Department of Bacteriology and Immunology at the institute was designated as the WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Meningococci in 1991. The Centre contributes to WHO’s efforts to eradicate meningococcal disease as a public health problem. The most common illnesses caused by meningococcus are meningitis and sepsis.

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health was given the responsibility for the WHO Collaborating Centre due to expertise and global involvement. The Centre is responsible for conducting research and analyses, for giving advice and providing services, in addition to annual reporting on results and conclusions related to the monitoring of the meningococcal situation worldwide. Since its inception in 1991, the Centre has supported the WHO in efforts connected to diagnostics and outbreak detection in other countries, to global surveillance and capacity-building, especially in Africa.