Recommendations for Good Practice in Pandemic Preparedness

To assist Member States with the revision of their pandemic plans after the 2009 influenza H1N1 pandemic, WHO/Europe performed an evaluation of the usefulness of pandemic plans and preparedness activities (PPA) undertaken by Member States and WHO in the response to the pandemic. Using a systematic approach, more than 200 individuals representing national, regional and local responders in seven Member States were interviewed. Six major themes considered essential to PPA were identified: communication; coordination; capacity; adaptability/flexibility; leadership; and mutual support. Key issues and recommendations for good practice in pandemic preparedness for Member States and WHO were subsequently identified. PPA had generally been successful, with multi-sectoral involvement, political support and dedicated funding emerging as important success factors. However, in future PPA, greater emphasis will need to be placed on these areas, as well as improving planning for: communications; vaccine procurement and logistics; flexibility of response; use of diagnostic tests; and real-time surveillance.