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 Spread of deadly eye cancer halted in cells and animals
13.11.2018 | Johns Hopkins Medicine

nachricht Breakthrough in understanding how deadly pneumococcus avoids immune defenses
13.11.2018 | University of Liverpool

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: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

Im Focus: Coping with errors in the quantum age

Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly

The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

The dawn of a new era for genebanks - molecular characterisation of an entire genebank collection

13.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Fish recognize their prey by electric colors

13.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Ultrasound Connects

13.11.2018 | Awards Funding

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>