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 Table of Contents  
LETTER TO EDITOR
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 213-214

Enhancing prevention and control and preparedness activities for influenza: World Health Organization


1 Vice Principal Curriculum, Department of Community Medicine, Member of the Medical Education Unit and Institute Research Council, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Submission11-Mar-2019
Date of Acceptance02-May-2019
Date of Web Publication05-Aug-2019

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
3rd Floor, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai Village, Thiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Sembakkam Post, Kancheepuram - 603 108, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijhas.IJHAS_10_19

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How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Enhancing prevention and control and preparedness activities for influenza: World Health Organization. Int J Health Allied Sci 2019;8:213-4

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Enhancing prevention and control and preparedness activities for influenza: World Health Organization. Int J Health Allied Sci [serial online] 2019 [cited 2019 Aug 20];8:213-4. Available from: http://www.ijhas.in/text.asp?2019/8/3/213/263939



Sir,

Influenza is an acute respiratory tract infection caused by influenza viruses and has been reported in the form of epidemics and pandemics in different parts of the world.[1] The available global estimates suggest that each year, >1 billion cases of the disease are being reported of which almost 18% die because of the disease-related complications.[2] Further, even though, the disease affects all the age-groups, but population groups such as pregnant women, under-five children, elderly, healthcare professionals, and individuals with chronic diseases or immunosuppressive conditions are the most vulnerable.[1],[2] Moreover, the epidemics/pandemics of the disease accounts for a significant social and financial impact due to the reduced productivity and eventually affects the growth of the nation.[1],[3]

Acknowledging the magnitude of the disease, its potential to spread geographically through airborne transmission, millions of cases and deaths, the immense burden on the healthcare delivery system, and the fact that the threat of disease is always present, it is of utmost importance to strengthen the disease-related prevention, control, and preparedness activities.[2],[3],[4] The ultimate aim is to attain capacity building to not only prevent but also even detect and readily respond to the disease threats.[3],[4] However, to attain this, there is an immense need to link all these activities with national health security strategies and ensure that political commitment is accomplished.[1],[2],[3]

In order to respond to the challenge, the World Health Organization has released a new Global Influenza Strategy for the period 2019–2030 with an aim to safeguard the lives of all people from the disease.[2] It has been reiterated that the cost of managing the disease outbreak will be way beyond the investment made toward the prevention activities, and thus, it has been recommended to conduct annual vaccination campaign, which should predominantly target healthcare professionals and other vulnerable population groups.[2],[4] The proposed strategy contains a path to protect the general population through the strengthening of the ongoing programs.[3] This has been set to be achieved through the accomplishment of two main goals, namely strengthening of the disease surveillance and response and preparedness; and development of better tools to prevent, detect, and treat the disease through vaccines and anti-virals.[2],[3],[4]

Even though, significant gains have been made in this regard, nevertheless, a lot still needs to be done, and it is high time to strengthen the health systems to respond to such epidemics.[3],[5] It has been advocated that the need of the hour is to develop a strong partnership with the international welfare and funding agencies to augment activities in the field of research, innovations, and availability of the recent tools in all the nations.[2],[3],[4] In addition, it has been envisaged to utilize the benefit of the disease-related preparedness framework, which in itself is a unique portal to promote access to the information about potential pandemic virus candidates and lifesaving vaccines/treatment.[2],[3],[4],[5]

In conclusion, the implementation of the new global strategy will play a major role in minimizing the disease burden and associated deaths and will also enhance the preparedness level of nations and eventually contribute to the global health security.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
World Health Organization. Influenza (Seasonal) – Fact Sheets. World Health Organization; 2018. Available from: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/influenza-(seasonal). [Last accessed on 2019 Mar 12].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
World Health Organization. Global Influenza Strategy 2019-2030. Geneva: WHO Press; 2019. p. 1-28.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Liu L, Haynie A, Jin S, Zangeneh A, Bakota E, Hornstein BD, et al. Influenza A (H3) outbreak at a hurricane Harvey megashelter in Harris County, texas: Successes and challenges in disease identification and control measure implementation. Disaster Med Public Health Prep 2019;13:97-101.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Yang CY, Chen RJ, Chou WL, Lee YJ, Lo YS. An integrated influenza surveillance framework based on national influenza-like illness incidence and multiple hospital electronic medical records for early prediction of influenza epidemics: Design and evaluation. J Med Internet Res 2019;21:e12341.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Sambala EZ, Kanyenda T, Iwu CJ, Iwu CD, Jaca A, Wiysonge CS. Pandemic influenza preparedness in the WHO African region: Are we ready yet? BMC Infect Dis 2018;18:567.  Back to cited text no. 5
    




 

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