Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Lancet Publication highlights inconsistencies in pandemic flu preparedness between European countries


Considerable gaps exist among European national pandemic plans, according to a new report published in the online edition of The Lancet on 20 April 2006.

The report, ‘How prepared is Europe for Pandemic Influenza? An analysis of national plans’, issued by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), reveals marked discrepancies in pandemic preparedness across Europe. The authors conclude that further planning and implementation is needed so that governments can effectively respond in the event of a pandemic, recommending action by the European Union to ensure governments work together towards a coordinated approach.

Dr Richard Coker, the report’s lead author said: "Wide gaps exist in the pandemic preparedness of European nations. With the ongoing spread of the H5N1 avian influenza virus in birds, and the impending threat of a pandemic, European nations need to work together to adequately prepare for the onset of such a pandemic."

The LSHTM researchers reviewed the preparedness initiatives of all 25 European Union member states, as well as Bulgaria, Norway, Romania and Switzerland. 21 published national plans were eligible to be included in the final analysis.

The completeness and quality of these 21 national preparedness plans was assessed based on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) preparedness checklist , addressing levels of:

- Planning and coordination
- Surveillance
- Public health interventions (public health control measures, vaccines and antivirals)
- Health system response
- Maintenance of essential services
- Communication
- Putting plans into action

Based on these evaluation criteria, the completeness score of the plans ranged from 24% to 80%, with the average level of completeness calculated as 54%.

With 194 confirmed cases of avian influenza in humans to date , experts, including the WHO, agree that the next influenza pandemic is inevitable. Detailed planning is essential to ensure a coordinated response to a pandemic, both across Europe and within each member state, to minimise serious illness, deaths and overall societal disruption. The WHO’s Global Influenza Preparedness Plan provides guidelines for governments on preparing for and managing an influenza pandemic is the benchmark against which all national preparedness planning should be implemented.

Dr Coker said, "As yet, Europe is only moderately prepared for the threat of an influenza pandemic. The existing gaps underline the need for increased cooperation between countries in policy, planning and resource distribution. It is vital that the European Union takes action to ensure that such gaps are filled and Europe is adequately prepared across regional, national and international levels."

The LSHTM researchers acknowledge that only those plans available for analysis at the time of research (November 2005) were included and further plans, or portions of plans, under review, amendment or pending finalisation were therefore not included in the analysis. As such, it is possible that some of the gaps exposed are being or have since been addressed.

Lindsay Wright | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia
21.10.2016 | Universitätsklinikum Magdeburg

nachricht New potential cancer treatment using microwaves to target deep tumors
12.10.2016 | University of Texas at Arlington

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>