The overall objective of the original European Mortality Monitoring Project was to design a routine public health mortality monitoring system aimed at detecting and measuring, on a real-time basis, excess number of deaths related to influenza and other possible public health threats across participating European Countries.
This objective was originally targeted in a DG Sanco supported project that ran from 2008-2011. During the three years, multiple partners from a number of European countries were engaged in developing a coordinated approach to doing exactly this: real-time standardised mortality monitoring across Europe. Technical developments, new systems and analyses included some of the following:
- An inventory of existing mortality monitoring systems
- Identification and definition of core attributes and minimal requirements for a mortality monitoring system
- Retrospective analysis of mortality data to explore mortality dynamics (changes, trends, etc.) in different European settings as well as the underlying events that determine these dynamics. Also the added value of pooling mortality data from several European countries was looked into. Using historical mortality, morbidity and environmental data from different European countries and outputs from the inventory and the minimal requirements, data was analysed using a variety of epidemiological and statistical techniques including regression techniques and other time-series analysis approaches, in order to explore the contribution of different infectious events (e.g., influenza) or non-infectious (e.g., temperature) events to mortality.
- Identification of a uniform analytical approach
- Piloting of a consensus system for real-time mortality modelling in several European countries.
During the 2009/2010 influenza A(H1N1) pandemic, the EuroMOMO network demonstrated how a timely, standardised and coordinated approach to mortality monitoring increases the European capacity to assess the impact of events with a potential impact on public health. Without EuroMOMO, Europe would have been less well prepared for the pandemic. In addition, EuroMOMO was pivotal to facilitate country-specific in-depth analyses of influenza-associated mortality in general or the impact of the pandemic more specifically.
Since then, the EuroMOMO network has compiled, analysed and shared weekly mortality data from all the participating countries, every week, all the year around.
From 2016 onwards, the EuroMOMO network has been supported by and worked closely with the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Europe.