Influenza pandemic preparedness in the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region

Wasiq Mehmood Khan, Amira S. El Rifay, M. Malik, Ghazi Kayali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (SciVal)


Background: Preparedness is key to controlling influenza pandemics and epidemics.

Aims: A comprehensive literature review was conducted to analyse the response and preparedness to influenza pandemics in the World Health Organization Eastern Mediterranean Region (WHO/EMR).

Methods: Published and grey literatures were searched in PubMed, Scopus, and Google scholar, and the WHO/EMR online databases. International and national plans were searched via official websites of the relevant ministries of the countries.

Results: We found that the response from EMR countries was minimal and scientific papers published were limited. Moreover, most of those papers studied the preparedness plan partially by focusing on one or more elements such as infection control measures and vaccines, or were directed to certain populations such as health workers. Continuous active surveillance is ignored in most of the countries although it was the most important lesson learned from the pandemic.

Conclusions: The national preparedness plans should be updated, taking guidance from the findings in the present report, to address any emerging pandemic virus as well as attending to surges of seasonal influenza cases.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)583-590
Number of pages8
JournalEastern Mediterranean Health Journal
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019


  • Eastern Mediterranean Region
  • Influenza
  • Middle East
  • Preparedness plans
  • Research and pandemic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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