Recommendations for good practice in pandemic preparedness: identified through evaluation of the response to pandemic (H1N1) 2009
To evaluate the pandemic planning activities (PPA) undertaken before March 2009 in relation to the subsequent response to pandemic (H1N1) 2009, WHO/Europe randomly selected seven Member States in the European Region to participate in a detailed and systematic qualitative study. WHO teams visited each country and interviewed representatives from health and civil response ministries, national public health authorities, regional authorities, general practitioners and hospital physicians. Forty-nine group interviews were conducted, using an open-ended, questionnaire-based approach with contributions from more than 200 people, resulting in 90 hours of recorded material that was subsequently transcribed and subjected to detailed content analysis. From these data, WHO/Europe was able to determine six major themes essential to successful PPA and to conclude that PPA were successfully undertaken in the WHO European Region before the 2009 pandemic. At a workshop in Copenhagen, representatives of the participating countries discussed these findings and identified good practices for pandemic preparedness and planning.