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Pandemic Influenza Risk Management: new guidance from WHO

The World Health Organization has published new interim guidance to replace the 2009 Pandemic Influenza Preparedness and Response advice. 'Pandemic Influenza Risk Management' includes the following:

  • Focus upon risk assessment at national level to guide national level actions
  • Revised approach to global phases
  • Flexibility through uncoupling of national actions from global phases
    Inclusion of principles of emergency risk management for health
  • New and updated annexes on planning assumptions, ethical considerations, whole-of-society approach, business continuity planning, representative parameters for core severity indicators, and containment measures.

Business continuity annex

Pandemic Influenza Risk Management includes a checklist of action items that should be contained in a business continuity plan in order to cover pandemic risks. These items are:

  • Identify the critical functions that need to be sustained.
  • Identify the personnel, supplies and equipment vital to maintain critical functions.
  • Consider how to deal with staff absenteeism to minimize its impact on critical functions.
  • Provide clear command structures, delegations of authority and orders of succession.
  • Assess the need to stockpile strategic reserves of supplies, material and equipment.
  • Identify units, departments or services that could be downsized or closed.
  • Assign and train alternative staff for critical posts.
  • Establish guidelines for priority of access to essential services.
  • Train staff in workplace infection prevention and control and communicate essential safety messages.
  • Consider and test ways of reducing social mixing (e.g. telecommuting or working from home and reducing the number of physical meetings and travel).
  • Consider the need for family and childcare support for essential workers.
  • Consider the need for psychosocial support services to help workers to remain effective.
  • Consider and plan for the recovery phase.

Read the document (PDF)

•Date: 13th June 2013 • World •Type: Article • Topic: Pandemic planning

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