Pandemic influenza preparedness in Latin America: analysis of national strategic plans.

Mensua, A; Mounier-Jack, S; Coker, R; (2009) Pandemic influenza preparedness in Latin America: analysis of national strategic plans. Health policy and planning, 24 (4). pp. 253-60. ISSN 0268-1080 DOI:

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The threat of a human pandemic of influenza has prompted the development of national influenza pandemic preparedness plans over the last 4 years. Analyses have been carried out to assess preparedness in Europe, Asia and Africa. We assessed plans to evaluate the national strategic pandemic influenza preparedness in the countries of Latin America. Published national pandemic influenza preparedness plans from Latin American countries were evaluated against criteria drawn from the World Health Organization checklist. Plans were eligible for inclusion if formally published before 16 November 2007. Fifteen national plans were identified and retrieved from the 17 Latin American countries surveyed. Latin American countries demonstrated different degrees of preparedness, and that a high level of completeness of plans was correlated to a country's wealth to a certain extent. Plans were judged strong in addressing surveillance requirements, and provided appropriate communication strategies directed to the general public and health care personnel. However, gaps remained, including the organization of health care services' response; planning and maintenance of essential services; and the provision of containment measures such as the stockpiling of necessary medical supplies including vaccines and antiviral medications. In addition, some inconsistencies and variations which may be important, such as in border control measures and the capacity to contain outbreaks, exist between country plans-issues that could result in confusion in the event of a pandemic. A number of plans remain developmental in nature and, as elsewhere, more emphasis should be placed on strengthening the operability of plans, and in testing them. Whilst taking account of resources constraints, plans should be further developed in a coherent manner with both regional and international imperatives.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Global Health and Development
Research Centre: Vaccine Centre
PubMed ID: 19411447
Web of Science ID: 267219900002


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