Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Pandemic Challenges For Asia-Pacific Region

03.05.2006


The Asia-Pacific region faces a number of challenges in preparing for an influenza pandemic, yet gaps and inconsistencies in plans across the continent could hinder an effective response to a pandemic, according to a new report presented today at the Lancet Asia Medical Forum 2006, Singapore.



Over 80% of human deaths from avian influenza (H5N1) recorded to date have occurred in South East Asia, which suggests that countries in the region could be the epicentre of the next human influenza pandemic.

The report reveals two distinct groupings in Asia-Pacific. Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand were found to have comprehensive operational guidance manuals that facilitate national responses to pandemic influenza. Plans prepared by China, Thailand and Vietnam were less operational but strategically plan for investment to develop future capacity. The regional as a whole drew from its previous experience of SARS. This report follows a previous analysis of European pandemic plans, a summary of which was published in the Lancet.


Dr Richard Coker, the report’s lead author, said: ’The strategic approach towards pandemic preparedness taken by Australia, Hong Kong, and New Zealand is similar to the best of the European plans - the remaining Asia-Pacific countries surveyed are likely to be less prepared for an imminent pandemic and might consider developing operational plans that recognise current capacity limitations’.

The LSHTM researchers examined the preparedness plans of five countries in the Asia Pacific region – China (and the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong), Vietnam, Thailand, Australia and New Zealand. Pandemic plans for Cambodia, Laos and Indonesia were not available.

The WHO’s Global Influenza Preparedness Plan provides guidelines for governments on preparing for and managing an influenza pandemic, and is the benchmark against which all national preparedness planning should be implemented. The completeness and quality of these national preparedness plans were 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

Potential gaps and weaknesses were identified in the Asia Pacific Region. For example some countries organise their responses by pandemic phases differently from the WHO pandemic phases which could cause confusion during the management of a regional or global crisis. A further gap is that the maintenance of essential services is not addressed fully in several plans.

Dr Richard Coker said: ‘Many of the gaps common in this region, such as identifying priority groups for antivirals and vaccines, planning for essential services and understanding how healthcare systems might respond during a pandemic are also common to the European region. Opportunities exist for co-operative relations between countries to be developed and built upon in influenza preparedness’.

The LSHTM researchers acknowledge that only those plans available for analysis at the time of research (February 2006) were included. The analysis does not include plans under review, amendment or pending finalisation.

Lindsay Wright | alfa
Further information:
http://www.lshtm.ac.uk

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht New discoveries predict ability to forecast dementia from single molecule
12.12.2018 | UT Southwestern Medical Center

nachricht Pain: Perception and motor impulses arise in the brain independently of one another
12.12.2018 | Technische Universität München

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: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

Im Focus: Researchers develop method to transfer entire 2D circuits to any smooth surface

What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.

Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Magic number colloidal clusters

13.12.2018 | Life Sciences

UNLV study unlocks clues to how planets form

13.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Live from the ocean research vessel Atlantis

13.12.2018 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>