Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Pandemic challenges for Asia-Pacific region

05.05.2006


Clear gaps exist in countries affected by avian influenza



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 report1 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, 2 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, 3 a summary of which was published in the Lancet.4

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 Plan5 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,6 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 | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.lshtm.ac.uk

More articles from Health and Medicine:

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

nachricht Direct conversion of non-neuronal cells into nerve cells
03.07.2018 | Universitätsmedizin der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

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

Microscopic trampoline may help create networks of quantum computers

17.07.2018 | Information Technology

In borophene, boundaries are no barrier

17.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

The role of Sodium for the Enhancement of Solar Cells

17.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>