Preparing for pandemics

Preparing for pandemics

Overview

Pandemics and large-scale outbreaks can claim millions of lives, disrupt societies and devastate economies. WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme (WHE) is working with Member States to help countries to prepare for large-scale outbreaks and pandemics.

Through the Asia Pacific Strategy for Emerging Diseases and Public Health Emergencies (APSED III), core capacities required by the International Health Regulations (2005), or IHR, are being advanced, providing an important foundation for pandemic preparedness. This is complemented by efforts to strengthen disease-specific systems and capacities, including for vaccines, pharmaceuticals and other public health interventions. Countries are also encouraged to engage the whole of society for effective pandemic preparedness and response.

As the next pandemic is most likely to be caused by influenza, the disease continues to be the priority public health threat in the Region. WHE continues to work with Member States to strengthen prevention, surveillance, and response capacities for seasonal and zoonotic influenza with pandemic potential.

Key facts

  • 22 out of 27 countries in the Western Pacific  have national plans for pandemic preparedness.
  • 92% of countries in the Western Pacific Region conduct outpatient surveillance for influenza-like illness.
  • 29 countries or areas in the Region have shared data through FluID, a global influenza data-sharing platform.