Influenza

WHO public health research agenda for influenza

Background

The WHO organized a global consultation to develop a public health research agenda for influenza. The agenda builds upon two major WHO documents – the 2002 WHO Global Agenda on Influenza and the 2006-2007 WHO Strategic Action Plan for Pandemic Influenza – that stress the importance of research in influenza prevention and control. It also reflects important findings and recommendations developed by different animal and human health agencies for influenza control and other organizations. A number of international consultations held between 2002-2009 have further strengthened the need to develop a research agenda for influenza.

Outline

The Research Agenda is organized around a framework of five key research streams. These areas of research are of particular importance to public health decision-makers for both well and less-resourced countries.

Stream 1: Reducing the risk of emergence of pandemic influenza.

Stream 2: Limiting the spread of pandemic, zoonotic and seasonal epidemic influenza.

Stream 3: Minimizing the impact of pandemic, zoonotic and seasonal epidemic influenza.

Stream 4: Optimizing the treatment of patients.

Stream 5: Promoting the development and application of modern public health tools.

Objectives

  • Provide a framework reflecting public health research priorities for pandemic, zoonotic and seasonal epidemic influenza
  • Identify specific research topics, reinforce and establish their importance in meeting public health needs over a medium-to-long term period
  • Maintain a focus on less well addressed areas, such as operational research and the needs of under-resourced countries
  • Facilitate discussion and coordination among researchers, donors and public health professionals
  • Highlight the need for and benefits of a multidisciplinary approach to address knowledge gaps in public health related to influenza
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