The University of Surrey’s Robens Centre for Public and Environmental Health (RCPEH) and Centre for Environmental and Health Engineering (CEHE) have just become re-designated World Health Organization (WHO) collaborating centres for the protection of water quality and human health.
As of 8 February 2015, the RCPEH and CEHE will work with the WHO to implement mandated work and programme objectives, and develop and strengthen institutional capacity in global countries and regions.
This is the seventh time the University has achieved recognition for its work on water from the WHO.
The collaborating centres will:
- Inform and support further development of WHO approaches to water quality monitoring and surveillance
- Support the development of guidance for small scale drinking water systems
- Provide emergency response support
Expected tasks include:
- Facilitating organisation and delivery of specific national workshops intended to build capacities on the WHO guidelines for drinking water quality and safe recreational waters
- Updating and aligning sanitary inspection forms to inform implementation of the WHO water safety plan approach
- Assisting laboratories to undertake water quality and assessment, through providing on-site technical training to technicians, and administrative training to laboratory managers
- Providing technical support in relation to water quality, to assist in emergency situations
Designation as a WHO collaborating centre provides institutions with enhanced visibility and recognition by national authorities, calling public attention to the health issues on which they work. It opens up improved opportunities for them to exchange information and develop technical cooperation with other institutions, in particular at international level, and to mobilise additional and sometimes important resources from funding partners.
Later this year, Surrey’s WHO collaborating centres will host a meeting to revise volume three of the Drinking Water Quality Guidelines. This initiative will involve input from scientists worldwide.