Making preparation count: lessons from the avian influenza outbreak in Turkey


Date: 01 December 2006

Source: World Health Organization

Themes/topics: communication, pandemic preparedness, planning, coordination, lessons learned

This booklet examines the factors that contributed to the deaths of three children in Decembr 2005, the first H5N1 deaths recorded outside eastern Asia, and analyses the national and international response they triggered. It aims to identify practical lessons for public health agencies and policymakers, both national and international. The report draws on face to face interviews wih key health workers who oversaw the Turkish and international responses to the outbreak, newspaper articles, as well as press releases and reports from the major agencies involved (WHO, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), UICEF, FAO, and OIE.

The report begins by providing an update on the global and European avian influenza stuation, followed by an annotated chronology of the major events surrounding the Turkish outbreak. Drawing on the experience in Turkey, the report then considers five qestions that underpin national and international preparedness. 1. Why prepare for a pandemic now? 2. How to prepare for a pandemic? 3. How can preparation for tomorrow’s influenza pandemic be used to strengthen today’s public health systems? 4. How can international agencies be most helpful? 5. What is the best way to communicate with key stakeholders?  The volume concludes with a summary of lessons learned.

Making preparation count: lessons from the avian influenza outbreak in Turkey (pdf)
WHO Regional Office for Europe - Avian Influenza