The World Health Organization has published new interim guidance to replace the 2009 Pandemic Influenza Preparedness and Response advice. 'Pandemic Influenza Risk Management' includes the following:
- Focus upon risk assessment at national level to guide national level actions
- Revised approach to global phases
- Flexibility through uncoupling of national actions from global phases
Inclusion of principles of emergency risk management for health
- New and updated annexes on planning assumptions, ethical considerations, whole-of-society approach, business continuity planning, representative parameters for core severity indicators, and containment measures.
Business continuity annex
Pandemic Influenza Risk Management includes a checklist of action items that should be contained in a business continuity plan in order to cover pandemic risks. These items are:
- Identify the critical functions that need to be sustained.
- Identify the personnel, supplies and equipment vital to maintain critical functions.
- Consider how to deal with staff absenteeism to minimize its impact on critical functions.
- Provide clear command structures, delegations of authority and orders of succession.
- Assess the need to stockpile strategic reserves of supplies, material and equipment.
- Identify units, departments or services that could be downsized or closed.
- Assign and train alternative staff for critical posts.
- Establish guidelines for priority of access to essential services.
- Train staff in workplace infection prevention and control and communicate essential safety messages.
- Consider and test ways of reducing social mixing (e.g. telecommuting or working from home and reducing the number of physical meetings and travel).
- Consider the need for family and childcare support for essential workers.
- Consider the need for psychosocial support services to help workers to remain effective.
- Consider and plan for the recovery phase.
Read the document (PDF)