Avian influenza: preparedness and response to the threat: report of the Regional Director
AbstractThe Fifty-eighth World Health Assembly and the fifty-fifth session of the WHO Regional Committee for Africa expressed concern about the general lack of preparedness for an influenza pandemic and the need for Member States to draw up and implement national preparedness plans. 2. With the confirmation of avian influenza in some countries of the African Region early this year, the risk of human infection due to the highly pathogenic avian influenza virus H5N1 will persist, as will the threats of occurrence of an influenza pandemic. The occurrence of human cases would create immense new challenges for health systems and social services that are already fragile and overburdened. 3. Preparedness and response in regard to avian influenza and threats of influenza pandemic require concerted action under government leadership with increased urgency and participation of all stakeholders and partners. These priority actions include enhancing national preparedness and response coordination; putting in place adequate financing mechanisms; reducing opportunities for human infection with H5N1; stockpiling antiviral drugs, personal protective equipment and other supplies; and strengthening early warning systems, national health systems and health promotion.
Regional Committee for Africa, 56. (2011). Avian influenza: preparedness and response to the threat: report of the Regional Director. http://www.who.int/iris/handle/10665/1849