The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and PAHO/WHO have a great deal of collective experience in assessing the economic and health impact (respectively) of natural disasters. Now, in collaboration with the Inter-American Development Bank, a new methodology is being developed to measure the socioeconomic impact of a potential influenza pandemic. This new methodology and a set of tools will be field tested in two countries in the coming months. After making any necessary adjustments, this methodology will be made available, free of charge, to governments and institutions in the Americas.
With this tool, countries, national disaster systems as well as the health and other sectors can measure the socioeconomic impact of losses to the workforce, decreased production, changes in supply and demand, and other factors associated not only with an influenza pandemic, but also with other epidemics and health emergencies that affect health and wellbeing. This socioeconomic analysis should aid decision making when it comes to preventing or limiting damage and direct and indirect losses due to health crises.