National preparedness plans

WHO/Europe recommends that all Member States revise their national pandemic plans to prepare for future influenza pandemics and to strengthen implementation of the International Health Regulations (2005). Furthermore, Member States are strongly encouraged to publish their pandemic plans.

Since the 2009 pandemic, 13 countries in the WHO European Region have published revised national pandemic preparedness plans and other countries are in the process of revising their plans.

The plans that have been revised since the 2009 pandemic take into account the national and global experiences from the pandemic. Some of the changes introduced by countries include a more flexible approach to pandemic planning that ensures a response that is proportionate with the severity of the pandemic. Furthermore, pandemic plans emphasize that it will be national risk assessments and the actual situation in the country that dictate the response, rather than WHO pandemic phases. Finally, increased focus on the multisectoral aspect of preparedness planning and incorporation of new evidence are essential new elements in revised plans.