Pandemic preparedness activities have accelerated significantly in Europe since 2005 following the publication of revised planning guidance issued by WHO. Momentum has been intensified by four European wide workshops organised by the European Commission, WHO European Region and ECDC.
As planning and preparations have progressed there have been an increasing number of examples of imaginative thinking to solve common problems in pandemic planning. Most of these have arisen within individual European countries but from a wide variety of bodies: government institutions, institutes and universities, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), industry and all the elements of civil society. As part of ECDC’s mandate to facilitate information exchange and highlight good and innovative approaches to public health issues, some of the innovations that have been used by Member States in their planning are presented in this section. It is not the intention to generate a complete library of all preparedness activities in the EU, but rather to share good practices, link up those with similar interests and guide and inspire planners.
For ease of reference the examples of good practise in pandemic planning are categorised under ten broad headings - these mirror broad categories that were identified in the ECDC reports on the status of pandemic influenza preparedness in the EU/EEA prepared in late 2006 and December 2007.
Specific pandemic preparedness activities, practise and innovations:
- Planning, coordination and maintaining essential services (non-health)
- Business continuity planning
- Ethical issues
- Surveillance situation monitoring and assessment in a pandemic
- Health services in a pandemic
- Pandemic vaccines, antivirals and other consumables
- Interoperability between countries
- Local preparedness
Many good practises, including some that are highlighted in this section, were presented by Member States at a dedicated session on pandemic innovations at the IV Joint EC /ECDC /WHO Workshop on Pandemic Influenza Preparedness in Luxembourg in September 2007.