Monday, June 17, 2013

WHO releases new guidelines to help countries prepare for pandemics

From the Europe Regional Office

Novel strains of influenza viruses emerge regularly and unpredictably, each with the potential to develop into an influenza pandemic that can impact human health and economic well-being worldwide. Based on lessons learnt from the influenza A(H1N1) 2009 pandemic and other relevant developments, WHO has updated its pandemic preparedness guidelines to help countries plan for and thereby mitigate the impact of any future pandemics.

New in the 2013 guidance

This guidance aligns more closely with the disaster risk management structures already in place in many countries and underscores the need for appropriate and timely risk assessment for evidence-based decision-making at national, subnational and local levels.
Key elements include:
  • a focus on risk assessment at national level to guide national-level actions;
  • a revised approach to global phases;
  • flexibility through the uncoupling of national actions from global phases;
  • inclusion of principles of emergency risk management for health;
  • new and updated annexes on planning assumptions, ethical considerations, whole-of-society approach, business continuity planning, representative parameters for core severity indicators, and containment measures. 

From other WHO sites

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