Senior Epidemiologist, World Health Organization Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean (WHO/EMRO)

This is a summary of a PowerPoint presentation by Dr John Jabbour, Senior Epidemiologist with the World Health Organization Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean. The presentation begins by outlining the current situation of bird flu in the Eastern Mediterranean region, noting that the region could be hit severely by influenza and that the level of preparedness will have an influence on the effect that the disease has on the region.

The presentation lists the following as challenges that the regional office faces in dealing with pandemic influenza: insufficient country-level capacity for surveillance; a need for timely information in local languages; confusion between avian influenza and pandemic influenza; and a need for coordinated leadership. In response to these challenges, WHO/EMRO has developed a regional strategy on pandemic preparedness and response for human pandemic influenza. The main features of the strategy include:

  • Technical Support to Member States - improved national preparedness plans, messages and media to support behaviour change and support teams for timely detection and response.
  • Capacity Building - strengthened epidemiological and laboratory surveillance and the promotion of infection control practices.
  • Transparency and International Cooperation - emphasis on transparency, sharing of information and outbreak communication.
  • Partnership and Social Mobilisation - coordination with United Nations agencies and partners and strengthened risk communication through public messages, educational material and addressing the media.
  • Preparedness - support for operational and epidemiological research, vaccine development and promotion of appropriate interventions.

The presentation also details some of the current preparedness at the WHO/EMRO, including how the Strategic Health Operation Centre (SHOC) uses a state-of-the-art communication technology to gather information from member states and allow access to the best scientific expertise. It also explains how the web-based Regional Alert, Surveillance and Detection of Outbreak Network (RASDON) allows access to updated information, alerts and communication modules.

Please contact Hala Ali to access a copy of the full PowerPoint Presentation.


Email and PowerPoint Presentation sent from Hala Ali to the Communication Initiative, February 13 2007.