Case study ( 2586 views as of September 22, 2023 )
Canadian Pandemic Influenza Preparedness: Planning Guidance for the Health Sector (CPIP) provides planning guidance to prepare for and respond to an influenza pandemic. Influenza pandemics (subsequently referred to as pandemics) are unpredictable but recurring events that occur when a novel influenza virus strain emerges, spreads widely and causes a worldwide epidemic. Unfortunately, it is not possible to predict the anticipated impact of the next pandemic or when it will occur.
Planning for a prolonged and widespread health emergency of unpredictable impact is challenging but essential. It requires a “whole of society” response and the coordinated efforts of all levels of government in collaboration with their stakeholders.
Pandemic planning activities within the health sector in Canada began in 1983. The first Canadian pandemic plan was completed in 1988 and was followed by several updates. In 2004, the Canadian Pandemic Influenza Plan for the Health Sector was published as the result of extensive collaboration among FPT and other stakeholders. Before this version, the last major update to the CPIP and its annexes occurred in 2006.
The 2009 influenza A (H1N1) pandemic (subsequently referred to as the 2009 pandemic) provided the first real test of Canada’s pandemic preparedness planning efforts. Collaboration among all levels of government and stakeholders was unprecedented compared with previous events like the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak in 2003. The public health and health care systems were stressed but in most instances were able to cope. Antiviral stockpiles were deployed and pandemic vaccine was administered to millions of Canadians. There were, however, many challenges identified in this experience.
Canada’s pandemic planning continues to evolve on the basis of research, emerging evidence and the lessons learned from the 2009 pandemic. The value of building on seasonal influenza surveillance systems and control measures is well recognized. Making these systems and measures as robust as possible in the interpandemic period will help prepare for a strong pandemic response.Author: Chantal Sayers