|Sub-Regional Workshop on Pandemic Influenza Preparedness and Response: Caribbean Experience and Less|
9-11 September 2009- Barbados - BACKGROUND. Important efforts and resources have been invested worldwide in recent years in preparations to respond to pandemic influenza. For the last three years, the Caribbean countries have been working towards improving its capacity to respond to pandemic influenza. To date, all countries have developed National Influenza Pandemic Preparedness Plans (NIPPP), and several preparedness activities were instituted to respond timely to a pandemic event. Ministries of Health have built capacities in early detection, investigation and response including strengthening health service preparedness to execute health sector interventions and containment activities. On the other hand, National Disaster Offices were involved in the national coordination of preparedness and response actions in the light of such emergency.
In light of the new influenza A (H1N1) virus that mobilized a number of countries worldwide, PAHO and its partners see this as a timely opportunity to reflect on achievements the Caribbean countries have made to date towards implementing their National Influenza Pandemic Plans, and to identify the existing gaps or challenges to implementation.
Objectives of the Meeting:
The workshop was primarily directed to national health and disaster officers who are involved in the planning and implementation of preparedness and response activities in the countries. These include the National Disaster Officers, Ministry of Health focal points for pandemic influenza and health services. PAHO focal points for pandemic influenza will also attend this workshop.
The workshop included 20-minute presentations followed by discussions. It also included panel discussions, group work, and plenary sessions.