The Public Health Agency of Sweden has the task of disseminating scientifically based knowledge to promote health and prevent disease and injury. In collaboration with other stakeholders, we offer a knowledge base and methodological support, and follow up and evaluate different methods and efforts. Our mission from the government is also to monitor the health status of the population and the factors that affect this. The agency pays special attention to the groups of people with the greatest risk of suffering ill-health. Important partners are other governmental agencies, regions, county councils and municipalities.
Collection and analysis of data
An important basis for all public health work is collecting and analysing data from different sources. This is why the Public Health Agency of Sweden monitors the health status continuously to ensure the early detection of changes in the population. The work includes receiving reports of communicable diseases and monitoring the occurrence of diseases in general. Within the scope of our mission, we also develop effective systems to monitor public health and the factors that affect the health of the population. Another important task is to monitor the impact of the vaccination programme.
Health promotion in mental health, lifestyle and the physical environment
The Agency compiles, analyses and disseminates knowledge to support health promotion and preventive health work, in areas such as mental health, sexual health and lifestyle. We are also the national coordinating agency for suicide prevention. Our mission in environmental health is to detect, prevent and eliminate health hazards in the physical environment and to promote positive environmental impacts on human health.
Alcohol, tobacco and other drugs
The agency is responsible for coordinated monitoring within alcohol, narcotics, doping and tobacco and compiles, analyses and disseminates knowledge in order to prevent related illness. The agency also has corresponding responsibility for gambling. Our mission also includes overall supervision under the Alcohol and Tobacco Acts. In addition, the agency is responsible for establishing the basis for the classification of drugs and hazardous goods.
Overall responsibility for the country's communicable disease control
The Public Health Agency of Sweden has the overall national responsibility for protecting the population against communicable diseases and coordinates communicable disease control on a national level. We develop regulations, recommendations and guidance for healthcare professionals to ensure effective communicable disease control. Some of the agency's responsibilities include vaccination programmes, emergency preparedness for health threats and national stockpiles of communicable disease medications. In addition, we coordinate national efforts concerning antibiotic resistance, infection control and healthcare-associated infections. Another field of work is our work to prevent HIV and STIs (sexually transmitted infections), where the agency is also responsible for national coordination.
Microbiological laboratory analysis, preparedness and outbreak support
The Public Health Agency of Sweden performs microbiological laboratory analysis including diagnostics and supports quality and method development at laboratories engaged in diagnostics of communicable disease pathogens. Our high containment laboratories have round-the-clock preparedness every day of the year to conduct microbiological diagnostics of high-consequence infectious agents that pose a particular danger to human health. One important task is to provide expert support to investigations of suspected or confirmed outbreaks of communicable diseases and to maintain laboratory preparedness needed for effective communicable disease control in the country. We also provide operational support to the regions, county councils and municipalities during outbreaks.
The Public Health Agency of Sweden is actively engaged in public health work within organisations including the EU and the WHO. We are also a national focal point for these organisations, in areas such as the protection and management of international health threats. Through cooperation with other stakeholders, the agency also contributes to the implementation of Sweden’s policy for global development.