Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Lancet Publication highlights inconsistencies in pandemic flu preparedness between European countries

20.04.2006


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:
http://www.lshtm.ac.uk

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Why might reading make myopic?
18.07.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Tübingen

nachricht Unique brain 'fingerprint' can predict drug effectiveness
11.07.2018 | McGill University

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: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

NYSCF researchers develop novel bioengineering technique for personalized bone grafts

18.07.2018 | Life Sciences

Machine-learning predicted a superhard and high-energy-density tungsten nitride

18.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

Why might reading make myopic?

18.07.2018 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>