Turkmenistan updates national pandemic influenza preparedness plan
On 3–6 April 2018, WHO/Europe conducted a country mission to Turkmenistan to provide technical support on the revision of the national pandemic influenza preparedness and response plan. The visit was carried out as part of the implementation of the Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Framework in the country, and in accordance with the agreed plan for 2018. During the visit, WHO experts conducted a 3-day workshop with members of the Working Group on Reviewing the National Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Plan, including representatives from the Ministry of Health, Virology Reference Laboratory, Ministry of Agriculture (State Veterinarian Service), Ministry of Defence and other key organizations involved in planning, readiness and response measures for pandemic influenza.
The aim of the workshop was to determine the areas of influenza pandemic preparedness in Turkmenistan that need to be updated and to agree on the process for updating the pandemic preparedness plan.
During the workshop, an update on global developments and key WHO guidance on pandemic preparedness was provided. In addition, reflections on the current pandemic preparedness plan and areas requiring revision, key issues identified and prioritization of those were discussed in detail.
For updating the national pandemic preparedness plan the following principles were recommended, in line with WHO pandemic influenza risk management guidance:
- embed pandemic planning in emergency risk management for health and base it on the principles of all-hazards emergency risk management for health;
- apply a risk-based approach;
- apply the revised approach to global phases and uncoupling global phases from national actions;
- implement the Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Framework for the sharing of influenza viruses and access to vaccines and other benefits.
This targeted activity under the Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Framework for Turkmenistan will increase national capacity not only for pandemic influenza preparedness, but also for important areas of planning and readiness for other public health emergencies, in accordance with the International Health Regulations (2005).