Recommendations for good practice in pandemic preparedness for National Influenza Centres
To assist Member States with the revision of their pandemic plans with respect to laboratory activities after the 2009 influenza H1N1 pandemic, WHO/Europe performed a systematic evaluation of pandemic preparedness activities undertaken by National Influenza Centres (NICs) in six Member States across the Region. The study revealed that pandemic preparedness had generally been successful, with close collaboration between laboratory networks in countries, formal plan approval, laboratory accreditation process and access to international/national information emerging as important success factors. Future preparedness activities should continue to emphasize these areas, as well as improve planning for: diagnostic capacity building; control on high diagnostic demands; clinical-laboratory feedback mechanisms; management of media requests to laboratory staff; and real-time monitoring of antiviral resistance. The report describes recommendations for good practice in pandemic preparedness for NICs, as well as the support needed from WHO.