The project contributes to fulfilling: Tying the region togeter
Sub programme: Kattegat/Skagerrak
Lead Partner: Sahlgrenska University Hospital
Norwegian Project owner: Sørlandet Hospital
Partners: Ryhov County Hospital Jönköping
The Norwegian Institute of Public Health
Project Period: 1 September 2012 – 31 December 2014
Total Budget: 1 869 143 EUR
EU Grant: 515 350 EUR
Norwegian IR Grant: 275 555 EUR
The project ScandTick aims to strengthen cooperation in the region by creating a knowledge network for tick-borne diseases. Ticks and tick-borne diseases are an ever growing problem in the Öresund-Kattegat-Skagerrak region. In recent years, the number of people diagnosed with infections caused by tick-borne bacteria and viruses markedly increased. An estimate shows that over 40 000 people became ill in the region in 2011. The systems are incomplete and different between countries, making it difficult to compare. It is also believed to have been underestimates of the number of diagnosed cases. In recent years there has also been a sharp increase in the number of ticks in the region as an effect of climate change, contributing to a steadily increasing number of cases of disease. The most important tick-borne diseases are Lyme disease and tick-borne encephalitis (TBE). On the early diagnosis is often antibiotic therapy effective, but Lyme disease can often be difficult to diagnose. If left untreated, Lyme disease can lead to serious complications. TBE is the most severe tick-transmitted infection in the region and it tends to happen a few deaths per year. No real cure does not exist. An effective vaccine against TBE is developed but strategies for vaccination recommendations is missing or incomplete in our countries. Increased Lyme and / or TBE infection has resulted in deterioration of health in the OKS region. Inadequate diagnosis means that many who are sick do not receive care or vaccine. Costs to society are large in terms of doctor visits, medical expenses and permanent disease.
The problem set to tick-borne infections result is similar in the three countries in the region and closer cross-border collaboration will build up knowledge and skills current awareness, diagnosis and treatment. In Denmark, Sweden and Norway there have been organizational changes in how the processing is done by health services that are relevant for diagnosis of tick-borne diseases. Sweden has transferred the diagnostic reference function from national to regional level, in Denmark, one sees a regionalization of the diagnostic reference functions, and in Norway implemented an interaction reform that will put greater responsibility on local authorities linked to health services. These changes necessitate greater cooperation across national borders. ScandTick therefore intends to establish a network of knowledge and cooperation to address questions about ticks and tick-borne diseases.
The project will develop common approaches and strategies, and strengthen the common structures in the OKS-region to address the problems posed by the increasing incidence and spread of tick-borne infections. It will create common guidelines for reporting, diagnostics, treatment and vaccination for tick-borne diseases in the region. The project will also improve prevention in the region and develop sustainable information structures that reach out to particular public and health professionals.