Prevention is the Key

Prevention is the Key

In a health care, it is particularly true that effective prevention is crucial. For everyone involved, early diagnosis is undoubtedly better than dealing with serious consequences later. Nevertheless, the Czech Republic still lacks a clear and coherent methodology and systematic implementation of such procedures in practice. The project "National Coordination Center for Early Disease Detection Programs" aims to change it.

This project was initiated in 2017 by the Institute of Health Information and Statistics of the Czech Republic. Its task was very ambitious - to create a database, an evaluation system and several projects that will focus on screening, i.e. on early detection of serious diseases. The National Screening Center was established and it gradually launched 11 projects specialized in various types of diseases and illnesses, for example in critical congenital heart disease, risks of premature births or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

After gathering all the data, findings and conclusions, it will be verified whether specific approaches (to the detection of early stages of diseases) are suitable for implementation in the Czech Republic. If so, a detailed methodology for Czech doctors will be written and the project team together with the Ministry of Health will strive to implement it in practice. All this should help the Czech healthcare system significantly and improve health of the population above all.

The project team proved its effectiveness in April this year, when the Czech Republic was paralyzed by the so-called first wave of the COVID-19 epidemic. Due to its material and personnel facilities, they were able to respond to the request of the Ministry of Health and carry out a study of herd immunity immediately. "In the second half of April, with the help of soldiers, we set up tents in eleven places across the whole country, where the study was carried out. In cooperation with the Ministry of Health, we provided all the equipment, including many tests. We took samples from more than 26,000 volunteers altogether. All this in just a week," recalls project manager, Karel Hejduk.

More than 300 people took part in this successful operation. "Apart from medics, medical students and other health professionals, many volunteers helped us – they participated in organization and direction of test takers. The Municipal police was involved too. Whole project would not have been possible without cooperation with universities, hospitals, municipal authorities, the Academy of Sciences or the Czech Statistical Office,“ Mr. Hejduk enumerates. The presence of antibodies was detected in just a few samples which indicated persisting risk of the spread of the disease. That was an important information for further anti-epidemic measures at that time.

"The study of the COVID-19 herd immunity got all the attention in our organization in this difficult time. Some other projects were suspended, or almost stopped, and we return to them later. But we have proved that, if necessary, we are able to become a fast methodological support even in such uncertain times as we are all experiencing this year," concludes Karel Hejduk.

Project name

National Coordination Center for Early Disease Detection Programs

Project number



Institute of Health Information and Statistics of the Czech Republic


1. 2. 2017 - 31. 12. 2020



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