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    Pandemic Influenza Program provides framework for post COVID-19 capacity building

    Pandemic Influenza Program provides framework for post COVID-19 capacity building

    Photo By Master Sgt. Theanne Tangen | A Pandemic Influenza Program conducted eight years ago, designed to strengthen...... read more read more

    A Pandemic Influenza Program conducted eight years ago, designed to strengthen international senior-level policy and decision-makers who plan and coordinate pandemic activities, provides a framework worthy of consideration for post COVID-19 capacity building activities.

    In 2012, the 3-day “Asia-Pacific Multilateral Pandemic Preparedness, Response, and Recovery Conference” held in Jakarta, Indonesia, hosted 54 participants from the Ministries of Defense, Ministries of Health, National Disaster Management Offices, and regional and international coordination bodies representing 11 countries from the Indo-Pacific region.

    The conference was facilitated by the Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance (CFE-DM) and co-hosted by Tentara Nasional Indonesia (TNI), Indonesia’s National Military, in partnership with public health experts from around the world. Dr. Jemilah Mahmood, a senior research fellow at Kings College, London, at the time of the conference and currently the Special Adviser to the Prime Minister of Malaysia on Public Health working COVID-19 response and recovery activities, recalls her experience as a facilitator.

    “The Center’s approach was very effective,” said Dr. Mahmood. “They brought together national civilian and military ministries, regional organizations like ASEAN and the Pacific Community, and health agencies from the United Nations to provide an optimal environment for exchanges of ideas, sharing of lessons learned and for professional networking.”

    Important presentations and discussions during the conference included: Multisector Pandemic Preparedness, Networks and Communication, Structuring Pandemic Planning Efforts, and Sharing Lessons from the Field.

    Another significant aspect of the trainings CFE-DM hosted throughout the region was the creation and exercising of national pandemic plans with multisectoral integration in preparedness and response activities.

    “These plans were collaboratively developed by the country representatives with an all-hazards, whole-of-society approach, and were exercised and refined through realistic tabletop exercises, in Jakarta” said Dr. Mahmood.

    This conference was the culmination event for a six-year pandemic influenza capacity building program resourced by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM) in the Indo-Pacific region. The program was guided by USAID and USINDOPACOM policy documents and processes, collaboratively tailored and implemented by national partners in the region, and resourced over a multiyear horizon.
    CFE-DMs support to the program resulted in training more than 2,400 mid-to senior-level civilian and military officials from 13 countries with a focus on enhancing the development of national pandemic plans and civil-military integration in pandemic preparedness and response activities.

    “The USAID-USINDOPACOM pandemic influenza program was an effective model for multilateral engagement in the pandemic and emerging infectious disease space.” said Doug Wallace, deputy director for CFE-DM. “At its conclusion, it had mature vetting processes for proposals, and an effective resourcing strategy that spanned several years. This enabled a long-term “program approach” to progressive engagement activities.”

    CFE-DM has continued the tradition of building public health preparedness and response activities in the Indo-Pacific region, by conducting an annual “Health Emergencies in Large Populations (H.E.L.P.)” course each year in Honolulu, Hawaii, in collaboration with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and the University of Hawaii’s Office of Public Health Studies. Another CFE-DM offering is the Humanitarian Health Actions in Emergencies (HHAE). It is focused on the South Pacific, and is conducted in partnership with the James Cook University in Australia, and the Pacific Community.

    For more information about CFE-DM’s training opportunities or publications please visit our website:



    Date Taken: 07.30.2020
    Date Posted: 07.30.2020 18:12
    Story ID: 374955
    Location: HONOMU, HAWAII, US
    Hometown: JAKARTA, ID

    Web Views: 69
    Downloads: 1