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Through the Looking Glass: WHO Plan for Pandemic

by 5m Editor
8 May 2008, at 4:14pm

GLOBE - Experts from the World Health Organisation have this week revised their guidance measures that spell out how a country can prepare itself to tackle a bird flu epidemic on a scale yet unseen.

With the ongoing threat of a global influenza pandemic demanding continued vigilance, 120 influenza and planning experts from WHO Member States, research institutions and UN agencies around the globe are meeting in Geneva this week to review the current WHO pandemic preparedness guidance. Key scientific and situational developments make the review particularly important. WHO will release the revised guidance later this year.


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"One day we will face a pandemic but we don't know when"
Dr Keiji Fukuda, Coordinator of the WHO Global Influenza Programme.

"New concepts and tools including the International Health Regulations 2005, the global pandemic influenza action plan, antiviral and H5N1 vaccine stockpiles, pandemic severity scale and a rapid containment protocol have emerged since the last revision in 2005," said Dr Keiji Fukuda, Coordinator of the WHO Global Influenza Programme. "Experience gained through dealing with H5N1 outbreaks, and through active preparedness by many countries makes this review a crucial exercise."

WHO first provided such guidance in 1999 and since then, influenza pandemic preparedness has become one of the central public health planning challenges. With the risk level of an influenza pandemic unchanged, maintaining appropriate focus on preparedness and ensuring that efforts contribute to broad public health capacity are ongoing challenges.

"One day we will face a pandemic but we don't know when," acknowledged Dr Fukuda. "So what can we do? We can take action to improve our ability to decrease the risk of harm from a pandemic. We hope to improve the guidance and the practical tools we give to Member States through our efforts this week."

Further Reading

- You can visit the Avian Flu page by clicking here.

5m Editor