7th APRIL 2015 - Vol.XXXVIII No.018
Local News

Experts seek to tackle flu epidemic

EMERGENCY plans in the event of avian and pandemic influenza will be reviewed at a two-day workshop in Bahrain next week.

Officials from each GCC country will exchange expertise and interventions at the workshop to be held at Crowne Plaza on Monday and Tuesday.

UN teams worldwide has been preparing for a possible influenza pandemic due to the threat of avian influenza outbreaks over the last few years.

In compliance with a request from the UN secretary-general, UN country teams in the region developed contingency plans in order to prepare for a possible influenza pandemic in early 2006.

In accordance with original guidance, contingency plans focused on staff health and safety, specifying medical and non-medical interventions as well as internal communication arrangements.

A review of these plans is required to reflect more recent UN guidance as well as changes in national preparedness.

The original World Health Organisation (WHO) guidance on health and medical services of May 2005 has been developed.

The new guidelines include some major policy changes and propose a new format that helps better identify responsibilities for preparedness and response actions.

Specific guidance has also been provided in order to help UN country teams plan for the continuity of essential operations in a pandemic as well as their support to national pandemic preparedness and response.

At the workshop, UN country teams in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar will be given the latest UN guidance and information on pandemic scenarios and the problems likely to arise during a response to a pandemic.

They will also be able to identify gaps and areas that need improvement in existing plans, as well as key preparedness and response actions that need development.

The workshop will also be attended by UN staff and non-governmental organisations.

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