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Minister's Message

The prospect of an influenza pandemic is real. It is impossible to predict when a pandemic might occur but it is certainly possible to be prepared. The Government has already put in place measures to ensure BAHRAIN is equipped to respond. Among them is a comprehensive guide for the people who will be involved in BAHRAIN's response to any outbreak.

Since bird flu broke out in late 2003, a significant part of the BAHRAIN Government health policy has focused on a response plan to a pandemic outbreak. The Government has funded measures such as the National Medicines Stockpile of antiviral drugs and protective equipment; The Government has already established a national suprim committee for Avian influenza parchment between Ministry of Health and Ministry of Agriculture.

The Diseases Control Section at the Public Health Directorate developed a National
Management Plan for Pandemic Influenza 2005 to build national preparedness and capacity for immediate and effective response to any pandemic alert.

The plan centers on the core strategies of containment and maintenance of essential services. This means that, in the early stages, efforts will be concentrated on containing the pandemic to 'buy time' to enable vaccine manufacturers to produce the pandemic influenza vaccine. At best estimates, it will be at least 3 months before a vaccine can be safely given.

If the pandemic becomes widespread, efforts will concentrate on maintaining essential services and, in particular, keeping health services functioning until a pandemic vaccine becomes available.

It is important that Bahrain community has confidence in the decision making processes at all stages. The publication of this interim National Management Plan for Pandemic Influenza 2005 provides a timely opportunity for stakeholders to consider these issues and to contribute to Bahrain capacity to respond in the event of a pandemic threat.

BAHRAIN is well prepared as any other country to respond to a pandemic flu
 

Dr. Faisal AlHamar
Minister of Health

 
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