Via CIDRAP: News Scan for Dec 27, 2013: WHO confirms MERS cases; Pandemic planning too! Excerpt:
A method developed by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and partners for assessing countries' pandemic influenza preparedness capabilities has been used by more than 40 countries to document preparedness and gauge progress, according to a report published Dec 23 in the journal Influenza and Other Respiratory Diseases.
Called the National Inventory of Core Capabilities for Pandemic Influenza Preparedness and Response, the tool was developed to provide a means of systematically collecting data on coverage, quality, and timeliness in 12 areas of preparedness and response.
The inventory was used by 40 countries in 6 WHO regions in 2008, according to the report. In 2010, it was used by 36 countries, and in 2012, by 39.
The areas included in the inventory are (1) country planning, (2) research and use of findings, (3) communications, (4) epidemiologic capability, (5) laboratory capability, (6) routine influenza surveillance, (7) national respiratory disease surveillance and reporting, (8) outbreak response, (9) resources for containment, (10) community-based interventions to prevent the spread of influenza, (11) infection control, and (12) health sector pandemic response.
Within each area of capability are specific indicators that are rated on a four-point scale. In the category resources for containment, for example, the indicators include availability of antivirals, storage facilities, exercises and practice, and distribution of materials.
Participants arrive at scores for each indicator through discussions guided by trained facilitators. According to the review, these discussions yielded meaningful information beyond numerical scores by bringing together key personnel involved in planning and making them aware of their collective efforts.