Preparing for a pandemic

Contingency planning for an event sometime in the future is often difficult to justify, particularly in the face of limited resources and more urgent problems and priorities.

However, there are two main reasons to invest in pandemic preparedness:

  • Preparation will mitigate the direct medical and economic effects of an influenza pandemic, by ensuring that adequate measures will be taken and implemented before the pandemic occurs.
  • Preparing for the next influenza pandemic will provide benefits now, as improvements in infrastructure can have immediate and lasting benefits, and can also mitigate the effect of other epidemics or infectious disease threats.

WHO has developed a global influenza preparedness plan, which defines the responsibilities of WHO and national authorities in case of an influenza pandemic. This plan incorporates new scientific data and experience obtained during recent outbreaks that had pandemic potential. WHO also offers guidance tools and training to assist in the development of national pandemic preparedness plans.

Source: WHO Pandemic Preparedness