WHO: Recommendations for Good Practice in Pandemic Preparedness

Recommendations for Good Practice in Pandemic Preparedness identified through evaluation of the response to pandemic (H1N1) 2009 To assist Member States with the revision of their pandemic plans after the 2009 influenza H1N1 pandemic,
WHO/Europe performed an evaluation of the usefulness of pandemic plans and preparedness activities (PPA) undertaken by Member States and WHO in the response to the pandemic. Using a systematic approach, more than 200 individuals representing national, regional and local responders in seven Member States were interviewed. Six major themes considered essential to PPA were identified: communication; coordination; capacity; adaptability/flexibility; leadership; and mutual support. Key issues and recommendations for good practice in pandemic preparedness for Member States and WHO were subsequently identified. PPA had generally been successful, with multi-sectoral involvement, political support and dedicated funding emerging as important success factors. However, in future PPA, greater emphasis will need to be placed on these areas, as well as improving planning for: communications; vaccine procurement and logistics; flexibility of response; use of diagnostic tests; and real-time surveillance.

Here is the report on an evaluation of the response to the 2009/2010 pandemic conducted by the WHO Regional Office for Europe. The results are a testimony to the immense work that was done, the commitment of country authorities and the professional excellence demonstrated by a multitude of institutions. I highly commend all of those who were involved in responding so promptly and carried out their duties with care and consideration.

A principal value of this report is that it applies a standard framework to highlight essential cross-cutting elements of successful pandemic preparedness activities. Moreover, it takes an objective approach to highlight not only the essential elements of successful activities but also the areas on which the pandemic experience suggests future planning must place greater emphasis. The essential elements for the individual Member States when revising or reformulating their national pandemic plans are: communication, coordination, capacity, adaptability (flexibility), leadership and mutual support, collectively represented by the acronym CALM.

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