Pandemic Preparedness Guidelines

The United Nations (UN) Medical Directors developed this document to provide guidance to UN organizations to prepare and respond to an influenza pandemic. Technical input was provided by the World Health Organization (WHO) and other public health and infectious disease experts.

These Guidelines provide a foundation for planning to ensure a timely, consistent and coordinated medical response across the UN system to a possible global threat. This new version updates, and replaces the United Nations Medical Directors Influenza Pandemic Guidelines May 2008, as well as the previous editions of the “United Nations Medical Services Staff Contingency Plan Guidelines For An Influenza Pandemic” (March 2006 and October 2005).

This revision is informed by the recent experience of the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic, during which the provisions of the previous version were tested under actual pandemic conditions. It also extends the concept of the previous version regarding mainstreaming of many crucial non-medical aspects of planning (especially business continuity) into the responsibilities of management and administration, allowing medical services to focus more on their primary areas of expertise and responsibility. The emphasis of this revision is therefore on streamlining the guidance and providing outward links to sources of information which were previously addressed in the annexes.

This revision of the Guidelines also incorporates experience gained in implementing the guidance contained in preceding versions, particularly that of field duty stations, which in many instances have developed noteworthy solutions to their specific problems. These Guidelines remain a “living” document and as new research and information emerge, it will be incorporated into future updates.