Planning for an influenza pandemic is a complex process that requires coordinated efforts and an approach that best utilizes an organization’s expertise. PAHO/WHO has begun this process by creating a Task Force on Epidemic Alert and Response. This Task Force will advise on preparedness, readiness and response activities to address the risk of an influenza pandemic, including when to implement the WHO International Health Regulations (IHR). The purpose of the regulations is to ensure maximum security against the international spread of diseases. WHO adopted new regulations in May to manage public health emergencies of international concern.
The PAHO/WHO Task Force has prepared a framework for responding to an influenza pandemic, assigned responsibilities to its public health programs and set up coordination mechanisms. PAHO will support countries to strengthen core capacities for pandemic influenza and other diseases subject to the IHR-2005 and will establish coordination mechanisms with international organizations and regional integration systems.