The role of the WHO Regional Office for Europe in response to seasonal, avian, and pandemic influenza

  • C.S. BrownEmail author


Between 2005 and 2011, the WHO Regional Office for Europe assisted the member states of the WHO European Region to prepare and respond to outbreaks of avian influenza H5N1, the 2009 pandemic, and to enhance their capacities for the prevention and control of seasonal influenza. It did this through conducting a combination of regional and subregional meetings and trainings, establishing a regional network for influenza surveillance, providing operational guidance for implementing influenza surveillance and strengthening the capacities of National Influenza Centers, and through assistance at the country-level where needed. In all, close to 60 country-missions or country-level activities were conducted. These activities were conducted in close coordination with WHO headquarters, WHO European Region Country Offices, the European Commission, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, and with other partner organizations, and were in line with the implementation of the International Health Regulations (2005). The results of activities as well as guidance documents were disseminated to a wide audience through publication on the WHO Regional Office for Europe Influenza website, on the EuroFlu website, and through peer-reviewed publications.


WHO Regional Office for Europe Outbreak response Influenza Pandemic Capacity building 

Rolle des WHO-Regionalbüros für Europa während der saisonalen, aviären und pandemischen Influenza


Zwischen 2005 und 2011 half das WHO-Regionalbüro für Europa den Mitgliedsstaaten der WHO-Region Europa, sich auf einen Ausbruch der Vogelgrippe H5N1 und der Pandemie 2009 vorzubereiten und zu reagieren sowie ihre Kapazitäten zur Prävention und Überwachung der saisonalen Influenza zu erhöhen. Es tat dies, indem es eine Kombination regionaler und subregionaler Kongresse und Trainings durchführte, zur Influenzaüberwachung ein regionales Netz einrichtete und Handlungsempfehlungen gab und die Kapazitäten der nationalen Influenzazentren erhöhte sowie durch Hilfe auf Landesebene, wenn nötig. Insgesamt erfolgten fast 60 landesweite Einsätze oder Maßnahmen. Diese Maßnahmen wurden in enger Koordination mit dem WHO-Hauptquartier, den Länderbüros der WHO-Region Europa, der Europäischen Kommission, dem Europäischen Zentrum für die Prävention und die Kontrolle von Krankheiten und mit anderen Partnerorganisationen durchgeführt und standen in Übereinstimmung mit der Anwendung der Internationalen Gesundheitsvorschriften (2005). Durch die Veröffentlichung auf der Influenza-Website des WHO-Regionalbüros für Europa, auf der EuroFlu-Website und durch wissenschaftliche Publikationen wurden die Ergebnisse der Maßnahmen sowie die Handlungsempfehlungen einer großen Öffentlichkeit zugänglich gemacht.


WHO/Europa Reaktion auf Epidemien Influenza Pandemie Kapazitätserhöhung 



The author gratefully acknowledges Ana Paula Coutinho, of the Alert and Response Operations Programme, WHO/Europe, for reviewing this manuscript. The author further gratefully acknowledges all of the following without whose contribution the work described in this paper would not have been possible: the 53 MS of the WHO European Region and the members of the WHO European Influenza Surveillance Network, ECDC (particularly Angus Nicoll) and the US CDC, the WHOCCRRI and WHOCCPIR, the members of the SEEHN for communicable diseases, GOARN partners and MS experts who participated in missions, assessments and training. Last but not least, I acknowledge colleagues at WHO/Europe, the Country Offices, and WHO headquarters. This work was supported by funding from CDC, Atlanta, US, Asian Development Bank, USAID, DG-SANCO of the European Commission, and the governments of Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, France, The Netherlands, and United Kingdom.

Conflict of interest

The corresponding author states that there are no conflicts of interest.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.WHO Regional Office for EuropeCopenhagenDenmark

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