The Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), a centre supported by the ”la Caixa” Foundation, will have a presence on the COVID-19 Scientific Advisory Committee recently announced by the Catalan government. Antoni Plasència, director general of ISGlobal, and Antoni Trilla, head of the Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology Service at Hospital Clínic and research professor at ISGlobal, are two of the experts chosen to form part of this technical advisory body on pandemic control.
The formation of this committee is in line with the recommendations of the World Health Organisation (WHO), which has identified the creation of independent scientific advisory committees as a good pandemic management practice for governments.
Chaired by Magda Campins, head of the Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology Service at Vall d’Hebron Hospital, the committee will issue recommendations and proposals and “operate with independent judgement”, according to a statement from the Catalan Department of Health. Committee members, who are appointed for a period of three years, will meet in working groups and plenary sessions at least once per quarter, as well as in extraordinary sessions whenever required by Catalan Health Minister Josep Maria Argimón or Catalan Public Health Secretary Carmen Cabezas.
The committee will consist of between 20 and 35 high-profile professionals from the fields of health, medicine, health sciences, social sciences, economics and law. Among the 34 current members is Silvia de Sanjosé, who chairs the Multidisciplinary Collaborative Group for the Scientific Monitoring of COVID-19 (GCMSC), an initiative launched a year ago by ISGlobal and the Barcelona Medical Council, in collaboration with the Catalan Association of Research Centres (ACER).
“The setting up of the Scientific Advisory Committee gives more meaning, if possible, to the existence of the GCMSC”, asserts the director of ISGlobal, Antoni Plasència. “Both the president of COMB, Jaume Padrós, and myself, have conveyed to the Catalan Health Minister our desire that this GCMSC, while maintaining its independent character, offers its capabilities and experience to the new Scientific Advisory Committee, in all those scientific matters that are considered appropriate.”
GCMSC: One Year Reporting on the Pandemic
Like the COVID-19 Scientific Advisory Committee, the GCMSC is an independent multidisciplinary team composed of professionals specialised in fields relevant to COVID-19. The group continuously monitors the scientific evidence directly related to controlling the pandemic. In less than a year, it has produced and made available to government bodies, private entities and society as a whole 12 reports and scientific communiqués on key issues to help shape the technical and political decisions involved in the response to COVID-19.