Pandemic Preparedness- Challenges and other provocations.

A pandemic is a global confront that impinges on all sectors of society and places virtually every individual at jeopardy, autonomous of societal or financial status, racial origin, or gender. 

Challenges emerging from epidemic infectious disease outbreaks can be more efficiently met if conventional public health is improved by sociology. The focus is usually on biomedical facets, the surveillance and sentinel organization for infectious contagions, and what needs to be done to bring outbreaks under control swiftly. Social factors linkedwith infectious disease outbreaks are habitually deserted and the repercussion is ignored. These factors can impinge on epidemic severity, its paceand degree of reach, influencing the wellbeing of victims, their kin’s, and their communities. Less than two decades into the 21st century, the world has already spectated plentiful large scourges or epidemics. These proceedings have tinted inadequacies in both national and international competence for outbreak deterrence, recognition, and response.  

Certifying enhanced awareness in metropolitan & urban settings will necessitate a fresh accent on reinforcing capacities to deal with outbreaks and other health emergencies and pandemics. Countless-of these efforts are pertinent across all settings, urban or otherwise, such as having a good indulgence of the neighbouring socio-economic and cultural milieu and an vigorous association of communities and localinfluential leaders in both scheduling, planning and implementation.  

Preparation for any pandemic is a knotty and complicated responsibility which involves many collaborators, sectors and different strata of the general public. There must be cautious training and dexterity among all stakeholders, undertaken in a fully transparent and comprehensive manner, in order to certify equitable & impartial allocation and optimal benefit from limited supplies of antiviral drugs and vaccines. 

Towering infection toll may cause disturbance of significant services across all sectors of the worldand health-care amenities may be besieged with gravely ailing patients. Unless health-care workers are selectively cosseted & protected, they may suffer disproportionately and unreasonably, which could escort to essential shortages of trained health-care professionals and the further attrition of medical care competence.

Testing, tracing and isolation.

Surveillance is the spine of public health, providing the data indispensable to comprehend a contagionmenace and to notify the public, provide early caveat, describe transmission characteristics, frequency and occurrence, and support a targeted rejoinder & response. Surveillance schemes incorporate speedy diagnosis, isolation, tracing the source, screening, reporting, case management reporting, contact investigations, and the monitoring of inclination and trends. Superlatively, public health officials should receive an individual’s informed consent before performing any medical tests, and education programs can help convince many people to agree to voluntary testing, but there may be exceptional times when obligatory testing is crucial to advance the public good. 

In consequence societies faced with pandemics have habitually bunged or closed community & public places (schools, colleges, malls, workplaces, mass transit) and annulled public events (sports, arts,examinations, conferences). As trepidation rises, the public itself may recoil from public gatherings. Predicting the effect of guidelines to boost social detachment is not easy, as infected folks and their interactions may be expatriated into other settings, and people may voluntarily separate in reaction to professed menace. Measures as coercive as quarantine and seclusion should only be used when a disease is acknowledged during extensive scientific study to be transmittable and should be limited to people who have in reality been exposed to the ailment. In cases of scientific ambiguity, however, resource and time restraints can make it indispensable for the administration to take actionwithout performing clinical testing on each person.  Such transparency and clarity will augment public reliance and the acceptance of the projected containment measures. 

Urban problems

A larger population to be managed; ease of disease spread between humans in congested areas; difficulties in contact tracing, especially causal contact in public areas; inequalities resulting in poor housing environments that might hinder outbreak prevention and control efforts; closer encounters with wildlife via food markets or because of expansion into previously untouched ecosystems. Urban planners can consider epidemic preparedness in their designs and implementation; transport networks can be used to rapidly move supplies to outbreak epicentres; harnessing advancement in technologies for more effective contact tracing.  

  1. Competing interests within a finite local budget;  
  2. insufficient authority to institute response measures promptly;
  3. insufficient epidemic preparedness capabilities or capacities at a sub-national and local level; 
  4. difficulties in accessing national capacities

 Problems of extensive communication

Multiple information sources leading to misinformation; false information might spread quickly. Unconventional but steadfast information channels and social media can be used for risk and hazard communication.

For rural sectors- Problems that cause menace 

 Improved sanitation and rodent control around humans and animal communities;  vaccination of domestic animals for common zoonotic infections; precautions at slaughter to prevent contact with blood; regulating live animal markets to phase out sale of live animals or to ensure that those for sale are raised on commercial farms and have been verified to be disease free. 

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Written by RAJ CHHETRI


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