Month: November 2020

HHS offers states $1.2 billion for bioterrorism readiness

first_img To qualify for CDC grants, jurisdictions must file applications by Jul 15, according to the agency’s guidance document for the program. They will be notified of awards by the end of August, the document says. Four urban areas—Los Angeles County, Chicago, New York City, and Washington, DC—are allotted separate base grants of $5 million, plus population-based amounts. Their allocations range from $8.5 million for Washington to $38.9 million for Los Angeles. The number of biosafety level 3 laboratories increased from 69 in 2001 to 139 in 2005. May 23, 2005, CIDRAP News story “New federal bioterrorism funds tied to specific goals” The CDC grants are to be used to develop “emergency-ready public health departments by upgrading, improving, and sustaining their preparedness and response capabilities for ‘all-hazards’ public health emergencies,” HHS said in a news release. The goals of the two funding programs also include improving infectious disease surveillance and strengthening connections between hospitals and state and local health departments to enhance disease reporting, according to HHS. The money includes $766 million administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and $450 million handled by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), both part of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The deadline for applying for HRSA grants is Jul 1, according to HRSA spokesman David Bowman. Grants are to be awarded by Sep 1. All states now have detailed public health response plans, and 94% of states report they have exercised their response plan in the past year. See also: The CDC awards include funds to help cities equip themselves to quickly provide preventive drugs to masses of people in an emergency. The number of cities included in this 2-year-old program, called the Cities Readiness Initiative (CRI), is being doubled this year, from 36 to 72, according to HHS. The CRI money this year totals about $55 million, according to Roebuck. Last year the amount was about $40 million. The HRSA money is intended to help states increase their medical surge capacity and ability to handle “mass casualty” events, according to HHS. This includes increasing hospital beds, providing more isolation rooms, finding more healthcare workers, setting up hospital-based medication caches, and providing for mental health services, trauma and burn care, communications, and personal protective equipment.center_img The CRI program involves “enhancing each city’s dispensing plans with trained staff and developing and testing plans that include alternative means of delivery,” the HHS announcement says. “Known as mass prophylaxis, this effort is considered the top public health priority identified in the National Preparedness Goal.” The money can’t be used to buy drugs, which would come from the national emergency stockpile, said Roebuck. The CDC boasted of significant progress in bioterrorism preparedness in a bulletin posted last month on the agency Web site. The report cites the following improvements, to name a few: All states report they have plans in place for receiving and distributing drugs and supplies from the Strategic National Stockpile, and 98% say they have designated facilities for those tasks. Jun 9, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – Federal officials announced this week that about $1.22 billion will be made available to states and territories this year to prepare for bioterrorism and other public health emergencies, down from about $1.33 billion last year. The combined CDC-HRSA state allocations range from $6.14 million for Wyoming to $91.86 million for California. For the CDC funds, each state receives a base grant of $3.91 million plus an additional amount in proportion to population, CDC spokesman Von Roebuck in Atlanta told CIDRAP News. All states report having “24/7/365” capacity to investigate urgent disease reports. CDC guidance document for jurisdictions applying for preparedness grantshttp://www.bt.cdc.gov/planning/coopagreement/pdf/fy06announcement.pdf For comparison, the corresponding amounts announced last year were about $863 million in CDC grants and $471 million in HRSA grants. This year’s allocation is the fifth in a series of large federal outlays for public health preparedness that began in 2002. With this year’s funding, the CDC is also continuing a 2-year-old program to bolster infectious disease surveillance in states bordering Canada and Mexico, according to HHS. The amount allocated for the Early Warning Infectious Disease Surveillance program, as it is called, is $5.44 million, the same as last year. CDC fact sheet “CDC Makes Preparedness a Priority”http://www.cdc.gov/media/pressrel/fs060519.htmlast_img read more

The birds and the beds: A week in the journey of pandemic preparedness

first_img(CIDRAP Source Weekly Briefing) – The world of pandemic influenza preparedness this past week experienced another roller-coaster ride of public attention—and a lack thereof.I’ve talked about the dilemma of pandemic planning fatigue before, and the events of this week have added to my profound sense that much of the world is slipping even further into such a state. As the menace of pandemic preparedness fatigue rises, fueled by news coverage that downplays concerns, the reports that actually should incite us to action go largely ignored.Let me highlight two examples from the past week that trouble me.The birds…On Monday, the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) issued a press release, proclaiming: “Today most countries overcome avian influenza outbreaks when they occur.” It generated quite the buzz, but frankly I’m not sure why the OIE issued such a statement because its bottom-line message is unclear.Here’s what we do know:Migratory birds infected with H5N1 avian flu can transmit the virus to domestic poultry, ducks, and geese when they share common areas.Attempts to control the ongoing transmission among domestic birds require early H5N1 detection, containment of domestic bird movement, and slaughtering.As long as migratory birds are infected with the virus, the disease will move back to domestic birds with subsequent contact. This is exactly what’s happening today in Vietnam, where poultry infections have reemerged in multiple provinces after almost 2 years of absence (and another outbreak in domestic birds is being reported as I write).We can’t do much about wild bird infections.The OIE release stated that in the first half of 2007, “Countries reported fewer deaths of wild and migratory birds, which could indicate the disease is coming closer to the end of a cycle.” It concluded that fewer bird infection and death reports mean less real infection in the bird population.But what the OIE did not mention is that the fatigue experienced by local officials in reporting such cases for the past several years—a phenomenon commonly seen during outbreaks of other newly emerging infections in humans and animals—could have played a role in these lower numbers.What’s more, we would expect to see lower wild bird infections several years after the first introduction of a new virus into the bird population, because one of two things happens: (1) the new virus infection kills the birds or (2) any birds that recover are now immune. In epidemiologic terms we call this “burning out all the susceptibles.”But from a scientific perspective, it’s important to note that for several years birds born after such an event reestablish a relatively naive (unexposed) population, and the rapid and significant spread of the virus can start all over again. This also may be what’s happening today in Vietnam.Within hours of the OIE release, a Bloomberg News story, “Avian flu virus may be nearing end as fewer birds die,” received major international attention. I was deluged with phone calls and e-mails over the next 24 hours from business preparedness and public health skeptics who had read the Bloomberg story, convinced they had evidence that the pandemic potential was indeed overblown. That conclusion is just plain wrong.…and the bedsIn contrast to the Bloomberg story, Novation, based in Irving, Tex., which is the healthcare contracting services company of both VHA Inc. and the University HealthSystem Consortium, announced the results of a survey of hospital materials managers on their pandemic preparedness status. Novation found that of the 68 managers who responded:79% reported they could continue operations without external resources for less than a week.54% said they could continue for only 1 to 3 days.Christine Miller, a senior clinical manager at Novation, was quoted in the press release as saying, “Our survey provides some real insight into the supply crisis that hospitals would face during a global flu pandemic.”Was this story picked up by any wire service or trade publication? Not that I could see.Did anyone send it to me or call to discuss its implications? Not one.Yet, I found myself rereading the release several times to take in the full implications of these important results.Bottom line for businessWe are mired in a world of pandemic preparedness fatigue. The voices of skeptics who doubt the eventuality of a pandemic and dismiss the need for preparedness are growing louder. Meanwhile, important studies like the one from Novation are going unnoticed or getting buried. No organization will help itself in the long run by buying into this mindset. There will be a next pandemic, whether it is tomorrow, next year, or even years from now. Like hurricanes, earthquakes, and tsunamis, pandemics happen. Nothing we do today to better prepare for the next pandemic will ever be wasted.Our biggest risk lies in hoping that the Bloomberg headline is right, then one day being proven wrong—deadly wrong.last_img read more

Egypt has latest H5N1 case

first_imgJul 23, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – A World Health Organization (WHO) official in Cairo said yesterday that test results in a 25-year-old Egyptian woman were positive for H5N1 avian influenza.The country’s state news agency, MENA, said the woman is from the Nile Delta’s Damietta province in northern Egypt, according to a Reuters report yesterday. She came down with a high fever 3 days ago and is in good condition after receiving oseltamivir, MENA reported.John Jabbour, a WHO representative in Egypt, told Reuters the woman reportedly got sick after she had contact with dead household birds. If her case is confirmed by the WHO she will become Egypt’s 38th case-patient. For now, Egypt’s official count stands at 37 cases and 15 deaths.Egyptian officials had projected that H5N1 activity would wane during the hot summer months, as it did during 2006 when there were no human cases between May and October, Reuters reported. However, the country continues to report sporadic cases; Egypt’s last case was reported in late June.last_img read more

HHS offers tools to promote local pandemic preparedness

first_img Jun 14 CIDRAP News story “HHS hears community leaders’ ideas on pandemic readiness” He said the gap between what public health experts know and what the public knows about pandemic planning is still very large, and more work is needed, particularly on community mitigation efforts that may be needed in a severe pandemic, such as school closures and student dismissals. See also: One component that seems to be missing from the HHS toolkit is a plan for distributing it to community leaders who are well positioned to use the materials, Dworkin said. “As of right now, they are available online, but who knows about them? How will community leaders, school boards, and others learn about their existence?” he asked. Greg Dworkin, MD, founding editor of the Flu Wiki Web site and chief of pediatric pulmonology at Danbury Hospital in Danbury, Conn., told CIDRAP News the materials have been well received. “Interestingly, long-time flu preppers have already used them to discuss the idea with relatives and others who respond to the HHS stamp of legitimacy,” he said. Stephanie Marshall, HHS director of pandemic communications, told CIDRAP News via e-mail that the agency launched a “trade advertising campaign” for the toolkit on Dec 1, the same day the materials were posted on the government’s pandemic planning Web site. She said the ads appear on the toolkit Web site. “Government alone can’t prepare the nation for pandemic flu; this challenge requires your help,” HHS says in its online introduction to the toolkit. “As a leader in your community, you can playa powerful role in encouraging your employees, patients, and members and others whom you represent to prepare by providing information and guidance and by preparing yourself.” The toolkit is an outgrowth of earlier HHS efforts to engage community leaders’ help in preparing the nation for an influenza pandemic. In May the agency hosted a 5-week blog series that was designed to engage community leaders in online discussions about personal preparedness. In June, HHS held a leadership forum in Washington, DC, that drew about 100 leaders from various sectors.center_img Dworkin was one of 13 experts who led the HHS blog discussions and also took part in the agency’s leadership summit. HHS has identified nine communities that it will target with more intensive communication efforts regarding pandemic planning, Marshall said, adding that the agency hopes to introduce that campaign early next year. Titled “Take the Lead: Working Together to Prepare Now,” the 21-item toolkit is aimed at groups such as churches and business, healthcare, and civic organizations. The package of materials, posted on the HHS’ pandemic planning Web site Dec 1, includes several components that groups can adapt to meet their needs, including talking points, checklists, fact sheets, sample e-mails, and sample newsletter articles. The toolkit includes a template that groups can use to publicize campaigns to stockpile food as a community pandemic preparation activity. The package also includes ideas about incentives leaders can use to motivate community members to attend pandemic planning information meetings and related activities. Toolkit materials reflect the input from community leaders, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), HHS said on the Web site. Dec 4, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released a toolkit to help community leaders educate their constituents about steps they can take to prepare for an influenza pandemic.last_img read more

Officials probe multistate Salmonella outbreak

first_img See also: Salmonellosis typically causes fever and nonbloody diarrhea that resolves in a week. Serotypes Typhimurium and Enteritidis are most the common strains of Salmonella bacteria in the United States, according to the CDC. In April 2008, an outbreak involving S Typhimurium was linked to contamination in the water system of Alamosa, Colo., and the same serotype was responsible for a 2006 outbreak linked to tomatoes, according to previous reports. Jan 6 ODH statement Yesterday the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) said in a press release that it was assisting in the investigation of the outbreak, which has sickened 50 state residents since October. The ODH said Ohio had the nation’s second highest number of cases. Frederick Angulo, the CDC’s deputy chief of enteric diseases, said the source of the outbreak has not been determined and that the CDC has activated its emergency network to investigate the outbreak, USA Today reported today. He said all the cases have matching DNA fingerprints. Alvin D. Jackson, MD, director of the ODH, said in the Ohio statement that simple steps to prevent Salmonella infections include taking care when handling raw meat, washing hands between food preparation and caring for infants and small children, cooking meat thoroughly, and avoiding eating raw or undercooked meat.center_img Doug Schultz, a spokesman for the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), told CIDRAP News that Minnesota has confirmed 30 cases that are linked to the national outbreak and that the department expects to detect additional cases. Experts from the MDH, including Team Diarrhea, a group that conducts case-control studies in foodborne disease outbreaks, are continuing their investigation into the source of the Salmonella, he said. “The lead hypothesis [about the Salmonella source] is chicken, but it’s a hard thing to prove,” the CDC’s Angulo told USA Today. “Everybody eats chicken.” Jan 7, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – An official at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that the agency is investigating a Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium outbreak that has sickened 336 people in 34 states. Editor’s note: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported on Jan 8 that, contrary to this story, it had not activated its emergency network to investigate the Salmonella outbreak and that chicken was not the leading suspected food source. Those items were based on a Jan 7 USA Today online report that the CDC said was later withdrawn.last_img read more

Feds outline state pandemic planning gains and gaps

first_imgJan 16, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) yesterday released an assessment of progress states have made toward planning for an influenza pandemic. The report found that many scored well in areas such as protecting citizens and administering mass vaccinations, but showed major gaps in such areas as sustaining state operations, developing community mitigation plans, and maintaining key infrastructure.States were required to submit their pandemic plans to the federal government 3 months after HHS issued a pandemic planning guide for states last March. Both the state pandemic planning guidance and the assessment requirement were spelled out in the in the Bush administration’s national pandemic influenza strategy plan, released by the White House’s Homeland Security Council in May 2006.The 31-page document, “Assessment of States’ Operating Plans to Combat Pandemic Influenza,” is available on the HHS Web site (see link below).William Raub, PhD, science advisor to HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt, said in an HHS press release yesterday that states and territories have accomplished a great amount over a short time, but much more work is needed. “The results of this assessment provide a broad-brush picture of strengths and weaknesses across various aspects of pandemic preparedness,” he said.HHS’s overall assessment seems to mirror the findings of an Oct 16 report from the National Governors Association, which also found progress but expressed concerns about several planning gaps.Yesterday’s report, the second part of a two-stage assessment, was the first time that federal officials have made their state-specific findings public. The first stage, which spanned Aug 2006 to Jan 2007, was shared only with states.The review of 56 states and territories was conducted by 12 federal departments and two White House offices and covers 28 operating objectives that fall under three strategic goals: ensuring continuity of state government and agency operation, protecting citizens, and maintaining critical infrastructure and key assets.Continuity of state agencies and governmentEvaluators found that 54 states and territories were inadequately prepared to sustain state agencies and support and protect workers and that the other 2 had many major gaps. They wrote that states that had a statewide plan or one agency that directed the planning had a better understanding of what was needed to keep state government and its workforce operating during a pandemic.They emphasized that traditional continuation-of-operations plans do not contain all of the elements needed to support government operations during a pandemic.The states fared better on sustaining public health operations during a pandemic: 33 of 56 states or territories had no or few major gaps. Those that scored low in this area focused mainly on external health services and prophylaxis and didn’t adequately address internal public health operational continuity and protection of its workforce. Low-scoring states also lacked personnel training and exercises.In reviewing states’ plans to sustain transportation systems, federal officials found that states have made substantial advances in communicating with neighboring jurisdictions and other state and federal agencies, as well as being ready to issue public service announcements and public safety campaigns.They found, however, that many states haven’t formulated cleaning and sanitizing methods for transportation systems, cargo, and facilities. Some had no actionable plans for keeping goods and people moving. In all, 12 states and territories had no transportation-preparedness gaps, 11 had few major gaps, 8 had many major gaps, and 25 had inadequately prepared.Protecting citizensForty-nine states and territories had no or few gaps in ensuring surveillance and laboratory capacity during each stage of a pandemic, but evaluators reported that many seem to struggle with some specific tasks such as planning for electronic death reporting and surge laboratory capacity.Port-of-entry concerns apply to only 16 states and territories: those with a US Quarantine Station. Only one of those 16—Washington state—was found to have no major gaps in this area.Federal officials said many of the port-of-entry states and territories are still in the draft stage of pandemic planning and getting guidance from and working out reimbursement issues with federal personnel, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, the evaluators pointed out that many states seem to be having a difficult time arranging separate quarantine facilities for detaining potentially exposed passengers.Regarding community mitigation measures, states vary widely in their ability to implement plans, the authors found. Though most have identified legal authorities needed to implement interventions such as closing schools or canceling large gatherings. Most states have not engaged with businesses, school districts, tribal agencies and other partners to discuss community mitigation planning.States seem to be lagging behind in community mitigation planning when compared with other aspects of pandemic planning, the group said. “The federal government should support their efforts in this area, as it may be the single most important aspect of readiness in terms of reducing morbidity and mortality during a pandemic,” they wrote.In general, states received high marks for planning for antiviral drug distribution and ensuring mass vaccination capacity. However, some states are struggling with other tasks surrounding vaccination, including collaborating with state and local health departments, transitioning from planning to implementation, and having a stand-alone pandemic influenza vaccination plan.States seem to have misunderstood the objective that directs them to mitigate the influenza pandemic impact on workers in the state to mean just state workers, the report said. Only three had no or few major gaps. Better communication between state pandemic planners and their agencies might have avoided this problem, they said.Sustaining critical infrastructure and resourcesStates still face steep challenges in supporting and sustaining key infrastructure during a pandemic, though the authors said they are encouraged by progress many have made. The review process unveiled some notable efforts and best practices, including a dedicated critical infrastructure pandemic plan, a public-private partnership plan for preserving critical infrastructure, and inclusion of critical infrastructure concerns in health department pandemic plans.HHS said in its press release that the critical infrastructure panning merits significant attention. “Even the best plans can fail if managers cannot accommodate the significant absenteeism and disruptions in supporting services and supplies that an influenza pandemic is almost certain to produce,” the agency said.See also:Jan 15 HHS press releaseHHS state assessment reportMar 14, 2008, CIDRAP News story “HHS issues pandemic planning guide for states”Oct 16, 2008, CIDRAP News story “Governors group identified states’ pandemic-preparedness gaps”last_img read more

NEWS SCAN: Drug-resistant flu, pandemic surveillance, more Salmonella cases, novel immunization method

first_imgMar 3, 2009Multidrug strategy may thwart resistant flu virusesInfluenza viruses, given time, are likely to develop resistance to any single antiviral drug, writes Anne Moscona, MD, in a perspective article published online yesterday by the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). But as new influenza agents are developed, it may become possible to thwart resistance by using a multiple-drug strategy to target various stages of the viral life cycle, she asserts.[NEJM article]WHO releases report of meeting on pandemic surveillanceThe World Health Organization (WHO) today released a 33-page report of a technical consultation on surveillance for pandemic influenza, held in December 2007. The 97 experts attending the meeting looked at what information would be needed during a pandemic, whether existing surveillance systems could generate it, and how to analyze and disseminate key information. The group’s findings will be used to develop global guidelines for surveillance, the WHO said.Salmonella cases tied to peanut products reach 677The number of illnesses in the nationwide Salmonella outbreak linked to peanut products from Peanut Corp. of America has risen to 677, 11 more than reported a week ago, according to today’s update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The latest known illness onset date is Feb 8. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said the number of products recalled because of the outbreak was 2,850 as of yesterday.[CDC investigation update][FDA list of recalled products]Scientists say chemistry-driven vaccines could confer ‘instant’ immunityScientists at the Scripps Research Institute in California described a new, two-stage immunization method that in theory could be used to induce “instant immunity” to a wide range of pathogens or tumors. They injected mice with chemicals that generated certain antibodies, and later implanted cancerous tumors in the mice. Next they injected the mice with “adapter” molecules, which linked up with the antibodies to trigger an “instant, chemically programmed” immune attack on the tumors. They write that this “chemistry-driven” approach to vaccinology could pave the way for vaccines against diseases that so far have resisted vaccine development, such as AIDS.[Full text in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences]last_img read more

SWINE FLU BREAKING NEWS: Case counts, vaccine production capacity, virus confirmed in pigs, Swiss quarantine, UK flu chief

first_imgMay 6, 2009The global count of confirmed H1N1 swine influenza cases rose to 1,658 in 23 countries, with 30 deaths, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported at a briefing today. Mexico continued to lead the list with 946 cases. [May 6 WHO swine flu update]The number of confirmed swine flu cases in the United States rose to 642 cases in 41 states, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported this morning. The death toll grew to two yesterday with the report of a 33-year-old Texas woman who had underlying medical conditions and died last week from flu. Media reports said she was 8 months pregnant and delivered the baby before she died. States reporting the most cases include Illinois (122), New York (97), California (67), and Texas (61). [CDC swine flu page]Dr. Marie-Paule Kieny of the WHO, speaking at a news briefing today, estimated that the global capacity to produce a vaccine against the novel H1N1 virus is between 1 billion and 2 billion doses annually, based on an estimated seasonal flu vaccine production capacity of about 900 million doses. But she acknowledged many unknowns about the vaccine issue, including how well the vaccine virus will grow in eggs, what size dose will be required, whether an adjuvant will be needed, and whether each person will need one or two doses. She said experts will meet May 14 to consider whether the WHO should advise manufacturers to launch mass production of an H1N1 vaccine.Follow-up testing confirmed the presence of the novel H1N1 swine flu virus in pigs at an Alberta, Canada, farm, according to a report yesterday from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). The confirmatory tests included gene sequencing and polymerase chain reaction (PCR), though the report said full characterization is continuing. Public health officials suspect that a carpenter at the farm who had been ill after traveling to Mexico transmitted the virus to the pigs. [May 5 OIE report]The chief medical officer of a Swiss army base recently quarantined 250 soldiers after some experienced symptoms suggestive of a swine flu infection, according to Swisster, an English-langue news service.The British government yesterday appointed a health official to direct its influenza epidemic response. Ian Dalton, currently chief executive of the National Health Service (NHS) North East division, was named director for NHS Flu Resilience, the London-based Telegraph newspaper reported today. Dalton’s responsibilities include managing vaccination programs and the supply of equipment and drugs. [May 6 Telegraph story]last_img read more

Approved 860.000 euros for the development of health tourism in Kvarner

first_imgThe Kvarner Health Tourism Cluster, along with Croatian and Slovenian partners, has been approved a project from the Interreg VA Slovenia-Croatia Cooperation Program entitled “Improving access to health services through strengthening cross-border cooperation of health institutions (under the acronym” + Health / Cross Health “)”.The main goal of the whole project is to strengthen existing and create new partnerships between public authorities and stakeholders in the field of cross-border health, which will raise the quality of services in the long run and reduce regional inequalities and urban-rural division. project area. The vitality and health of the cross-border area will be indirectly promoted.The value of the project, which will be implemented over two years, is € 860.740,50, of which 85% or € 731.629,42 will be financed from European Union funds. The cluster applied for the project in January 2016, and in addition to the mentioned project, another 107 projects competed. In addition to the Cluster as the project holder, on the Croatian side the project also involves the Health Center PGC, the Teaching Institute for Public Health PGC and the Faculty of Medicine in Rijeka, and on the Slovenian side the Health Center Ljutomer, Health Center Ilirska Bistrica, Novo Mesto General Hospital and the University of Logistics in Maribor.In addition, within the + Health project, the Cluster will deepen and strengthen cross-border cooperation of member institutions and will have the role of connecting and coordinating all partners in the project in order to develop cross-border cooperation structure through cross-border cooperation. The Cross-Border Center of Excellence “+ Health” and the joint cross-border health destination “+ Health”, as well as new management models and procedures, standards, quality and certification in the cross-border area will raise the quality of health services and thus improve cross-border health. For the Cluster, this will mean a step closer to fulfilling its vision for Kvarner to become known for high-quality health services, based on the latest trends, human resources and tradition.For the Cluster, which currently brings together 29 members from the fields of health, tourism, science and education, the implementation of this project will also mean a springboard for further project implementation and active promotion of the health destination and its members in the program area and beyond (other EU regions).last_img read more

Results of the grant program for the Competitiveness of the Tourism Industry 2018 have been published

first_imgToday, the Ministry of Tourism announced the results of the grant program in 2018 entitled “Competitiveness of the tourism industry” by which the Ministry of Tourism co-finances 24 kuna with 485 projects aimed at raising the competitiveness of the tourism industry in all counties of the Republic of Croatia. This is a long-term program of the Ministry of Tourism that provides funds intended to increase the quality and additional supply of restaurants, development of new products in the destination, sustainable development, internationalization of business, use of new technologies, etc. In addition to projects on the continent, special attention is paid to development. tourism on the islands, sustainable development and the use of new digital technologies to connect agriculture and tourism, or destinations with the local offer of domestic products. By the way, through the mentioned program in the last four years, almost two and a half thousand projects with a total financial value of more than 122 million kuna have been financed.  The public call for all interested parties was open until March 20 this year, and small businesses (companies outside the public sector, crafts and cooperatives) and family farms that provide catering and / or tourism services could apply. The grant scheme consists of four measures, each with a different purpose of co-financing. Through measure A supports the increase of standards, quality and additional offer of accommodation facilities of the type: hotels, camps, other catering facilities for accommodation and family farms, by co-financing eligible project activities, such as: raising quality subject to reaching a higher category, development and improvement of additional facilities, thematic definition of accommodation capacities, investment in green entrepreneurship, construction of a new camp or camp resting place in the continental part of Croatia, the Adriatic hinterland and on islands where such facilities do not exist, activation of mountain and hunting lodges, construction or arrangement of Robinson and bike & bed accommodation conditions for the stay of persons with disabilities, arranging picnic areas, tasting rooms, wine shops, and the development of ethno, traditional, hunting, fishing, equestrian and other additional facilities on farms. Through measure B The development of special forms of tourism is encouraged through investments in infrastructure, services and equipment, arrangement of necessary infrastructure and investments in equipment for caves, rafting, climbing rocks, lookouts, adrenaline parks, golf driving ranges, and promotional activities for the existing offer. This measure also supports amusement, adrenaline and theme parks, traditional small floating hotels, renovation and decoration of traditional wooden excursion boats, and the creation of a package of new tourist products for special interest markets. Measure C refers to the availability and safety of tourists, through co-financing of publicly available defibrillators (medical devices for rescue and resuscitation) in catering facilities, with employee training, with priority given to catering facilities on islands and other parts of Croatia that do not have health facilities nearby, subsidized transport of water to companies and crafts engaged in the hotel industry on islands without water supply, and encourages innovative IT technologies in tourism. Measure D refers to the recognizability, so this year will co-finance larger international gatherings in Croatia related to investments in tourism, and the development and promotion of special forms of tourism. Results of the COMPETITIVENESS OF THE TOURIST ECONOMY program – KTG 2018Measure A1 (all types of facilities from the group “hotels”)Measure A2 (camps and rest campsites)Measure A3 (other catering facilities for accommodation)Measure A4 (peasant household – family farm)Measure B (development of special forms of tourism)Measure C (defibrillators and aquifers)Measure D – (‘Croatian island product’)See for more information HERElast_img read more