Making Preparation Count: Lessons from the Avian Influenza by WHO Regional Office for Europe

By WHO Regional Office for Europe

This publication describes the outbreak of human circumstances of avian influenza in Turkey and the nationwide and foreign reaction. Drawing on interviews with many of the key medical experts and significant companies concerned - the ecu Centre for sickness Prevention and regulate (ECDC), the United countries kid's Fund (UNICEF), the meals and Agriculture association of the United countries (FAO) and the area corporation for Animal overall healthiness (OIE), in addition to WHO - it issues out useful classes that nationwide and overseas public future health businesses and policy-makers can use to reply successfully to destiny outbreaks and a potential avian influenza pandemic.

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What is the best way to communicate with key stakeholders? The World Health Organization (WHO) believes it is now time to acknowledge that communication expertise has become as essential to outbreak control as epidemiological training and laboratory analysis. – WHO (2005a) Outbreak communication can be divided into four major challenges: 1. 2. 3. 4. building and maintaining trust dealing with the demands of the international media communicating among the international agencies involved mobilizing the population (social mobilization).

The integrated approach is also expected to serve as a model for other health-related campaigns. For a fuller description of the underlying WHO approach to outbreak communications, see Annex 4. CONCLUSION 33 4. Conclusion Nine key lessons can be extracted from Turkey’s experience with avian influenza. Lesson 1. The time to act is now The Turkish outbreak demonstrated to everyone in the European Region that avian influenza is everyone’s problem. The continuing rapid spread of the virus and its endemicity in a large and increasing number of countries are worrisome.

It has also pointed up the importance of media participation. Media reports trigger about half of outbreak alerts, and the Turkish media were reporting suspected avian influenza cases in Van province as early as 1 January 2006. Such scrutiny is critical to early surveillance. In addition, European Member States need to share innovative communications practices. Italy, for example, is using a national text-messaging system as a first-line notification service for all emergencies. Lesson 8. “Boundary spanners”, particularly the WHO country offices, play a critical role Outbreak interventions work best when they are well mediated.

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