Planning and Preparedness
To counter the direct impact that an influenza pandemic may have at a global level, the United Nations System Influenza Coordination (UNSIC) has developed “UN System Pandemic Planning and Preparedness Guidelines”. These include checklists, templates and toolkits showing best practice. According to the guidelines, each country has to formulate not only a preparedness strategy but also a contingency or response plan for in the event of a pandemic. Plans for nations worldwide are accessible on line at www.undg.org. UNSIC is responsible for the monitoring and coordination of their implementation in cooperation with the World Bank, United Nations Development Group and United Nations Development Programme.
Preparedness & Capacity Building
The World Health Organization (WHO) held an Expert Consultation, “Emergency Preparedness for the Health Sector Communities: Challenges and Way Forward” from 15th to 17th February in Geneva, Switzerland. The main topics of discussion were preparedness for crisis situations, and analysis of recent events and future policies. WHO’s work in this field has intensified recently and the Health Action in Crisis (HAC) department has been reorganized into three main programmes: Emergency Response Operations, Recovery and Transition, and Emergency Preparedness & Capacity Building. The consultation in Geneva acted as a kick-off meeting for a renewed Emergency Preparedness & Capacity Building Programme. The main objective of the programme is to increaseWHO’s support to help countries set up their management capabilities for cases of emergency and disaster. The meeting concluded a set of recommendations for global strategy to scale up emergency national preparedness and mitigation activities. Further information about HAC and the recommendations can be found online at www.who.int.