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Exploring pandemic preparedness in Austria and Switzerland: A comparative analysis of national pandemic influenza preparedness plans
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health, International Maternal and Child Health (IMCH).
2017 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Background: Influenza pandemics are unpredictable but recurring global health threats which require planning and preparedness. In the past, European pandemic influenza preparedness plans lacked coherence and interoperability. Recent avian influenza outbreaks in Switzerland and Austria highlight the potential risks of emerging influenza viruses at the animal-human- ecosystem interface. Collaboration between public health, veterinary and environmental sectors could improve risk management of emerging pandemic threats. Whether pandemic preparedness plans in Switzerland and Austria are coherent and consider the concept of One Health is currently unknown.

Methods: A qualitative approach was used for this comparative study. National pandemic influenza preparedness plans of Austria and Switzerland were analyzed and compared during inductive content analysis.

Results: Four key elements of pandemic preparedness were identified in both documents: planning and coordination, monitoring and surveillance, risk management and communication and information. The plans are coherent regarding their underlying principles and priorities but demonstrate differences in the interpretation and operationalization of all four elements. Core components of One Health were partially integrated in both plans through collaboration with the veterinary sector.

Conclusion: Common conceptualizations of pandemic influenza preparedness and shared priorities do not guarantee coherence and interoperability. The identified differences could challenge future pandemic preparedness and response in Europe. The prioritization of public health preparedness in Switzerland and Austria leaves little room for integrative One Health approaches. The further improvement of pandemic influenza preparedness in Europe will require strong governance and leadership and more active approaches to promote intercountry and cross-sectoral coordination and collaboration. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
Keywords [en]
pandemic preparedness; influenza; One Health; comparative analysis; policy analysis
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-323370OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-323370DiVA, id: diva2:1105968
Educational program
Master Programme in International Health
Examiners
Available from: 2018-01-26 Created: 2017-06-06 Last updated: 2018-01-26Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association
  • vancouver
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More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf