Thursday, April 17, 2008

Epidemic and Pandemic Alert and Response

"Epidemics and pandemics can place sudden and intense demands on health systems. They expose existing weaknesses in these systems and, in addition to their morbidity and mortality, can disrupt economic activity and development.
The world requires a global system that can rapidly identify and contain public health emergencies and reduce unneeded panic and disruption of trade, travel and society in general.
The revised International Health Regulations, IHR(2005) provide a global framework to address these needs through a collective approach to the prevention, detection, and timely response to any public health emergency of international concern.
An integrated global alert and response system for epidemics and other public health emergencies based on strong national public health systems and capacity and an effective international system for coordinated response is necessary. Epidemic and Pandemic Alert and Response (EPR) has six core functions:
* Support Member States for the implementation of national capacities for epidemic preparedness and response in the context of the IHR(2005);
* Support national and international training programmes for epidemic preparedness and response;
* Coordinate and support Member States for pandemic and seasonal influenza preparedness and response;
* Develop standardised approaches for readiness and response to major epidemic-prone diseases;
* Strengthen biosafety, biosecurity, and readiness for outbreaks of dangerous and emerging pathogens outbreaks;
* Maintain and further develop a global operational platform to support outbreak response and support regional offices in implementation at regional level."
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