Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Pandemic controversies: The global response to pandemic influenza must change

Date:
January 28, 2013
Source:
Institute of Development Studies
Summary:
"Evil" scientists, deadly viruses and terrorist plots are usually the preserve of Hollywood blockbusters. But when it comes to pandemic influenza, it is the stuff of real life. As controversy about H5N1 bird flu virus research continues, a new article argues for a new approach to pandemic preparedness.

'Evil' scientists, deadly viruses and terrorist plots are usually the preserve of Hollywood blockbusters. But when it comes to pandemic influenza, it is the stuff of real life. As controversy about research into the H5N1 bird flu virus continues, a new paper argues for a complete overhaul of current approaches to pandemic preparedness.

Related Articles


To Pandemic or Not? Reconfiguring Global Responses to Influenza, by Dr Paul Forster, of the ESRC STEPS Centre, investigates the H1N1 swine flu pandemic of 2009-10 and sets out some vital lessons if we are to prepare for pandemic influenza effectively, while avoiding confusing and costly mistakes.

When the H1N1 outbreak in 2009-10 was milder than the World Health Organization had predicted, WHO was accused of colluding with the pharmaceutical industry and national governments of squandering billions. The Council of Europe said US$18 billion was wasted, and branded WHO's actions "one of the greatest medical scandals of the century." The event revealed weaknesses in the world's current configuration of planning for and responding to pandemic influenza, according to Dr Forster.

Science, public health policy makers and the worldwide public were confounded by the uncertainty, complexity and politics of pandemic influenza and the high emotions it inspires. Amid this confusion, the global and national institutions responsible for protecting public health were shown to be over-reliant on a reductive, science-led approach that prioritised a one-size-fits-all response, and failed to address the needs and priorities of the world's poorest and most vulnerable people. Dr Forster suggests new ways to construct plural responses more suited to tackling the globalised mix of politics, people and pathogens that pandemics produce.

"Preparing for an influenza pandemic means preparing for surprises and being ready to respond rapidly and flexibly under conditions of uncertainty. If people across the globe are to be ready, plural and diverse response pathways are required," said Dr Forster, an independent development consultant and STEPS Centre researcher. "The world would be better protected by a re-ordering of pandemic preparedness and response efforts around the needs of the world's poorest, most vulnerable, and most exposed people," he added.

A re-ordered response would allow the undue pre-eminence of pharmaceuticals to be examined, and bring focus on the pressing need for disease surveillance in animals, scrutiny of contemporary agricultural practices and a broadening of research efforts. It might also refresh the World Health Organization's approach, which Dr Forster believes supports an inflexible and narrow set of interests by default, rather than conspiracy.

With most flu experts agreeing that it is not so much a question of if, but rather when, a new pandemic will arrive, the sooner the lessons of outbreaks such as that in 2009-10 can be learned, the better.

Article: http://steps-centre.org/publication/pandemics-wp/


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Institute of Development Studies. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Institute of Development Studies. "Pandemic controversies: The global response to pandemic influenza must change." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 January 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130128104633.htm>.
Institute of Development Studies. (2013, January 28). Pandemic controversies: The global response to pandemic influenza must change. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130128104633.htm
Institute of Development Studies. "Pandemic controversies: The global response to pandemic influenza must change." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130128104633.htm (accessed March 31, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

7-Year-Old Girl Gets 3-D Printed 'robohand'

7-Year-Old Girl Gets 3-D Printed 'robohand'

AP (Mar. 31, 2015) — Although she never had much interest in prosthetic limbs before, Faith Lennox couldn&apos;t wait to slip on her new robohand. The 7-year-old, who lost part of her left arm when she was a baby, grabbed it as soon as it came off a 3-D printer. (March 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Solitair Device Aims to Takes Guesswork out of Sun Safety

Solitair Device Aims to Takes Guesswork out of Sun Safety

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 31, 2015) — The Solitair device aims to take the confusion out of how much sunlight we should expose our skin to. Small enough to be worn as a tie or hair clip, it monitors the user&apos;s sun exposure by taking into account their skin pigment, location and schedule. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Soda, Salt and Sugar: The Next Generation of Taxes

Soda, Salt and Sugar: The Next Generation of Taxes

Washington Post (Mar. 30, 2015) — Denisa Livingston, a health advocate for the Dinι Community Advocacy Alliance, and the Post&apos;s Abby Phillip discuss efforts around the country to make unhealthy food choices hurt your wallet as much as your waistline. Video provided by Washington Post
Powered by NewsLook.com
UnitedHealth Buys Catamaran

UnitedHealth Buys Catamaran

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 30, 2015) — The $12.8 billion merger will combine the U.S.&apos; third and fourth largest pharmacy benefit managers. Analysts say smaller PBMs could also merge. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins