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N Z Med J. 2008 Jul 25;121(1278):62-72.

Border control measures in the influenza pandemic plans of six South Pacific nations: a critical review.

Author information

1
Department of Public Health, Wellington School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Wellington South, New Zealand. Melissa.McLeod@otago.ac.nz

Abstract

AIMS:

This study aimed to review the border control strategies included in the publicly available pandemic preparedness plans for the South Pacific Islands, New Zealand, and Australia.

METHODS:

Based on plausible public health control measures, we developed a checklist of 10 important criteria relating to border control strategies. This checklist was applied to each of the pandemic preparedness plans for which copies were publicly available with each of the 10 criteria rated on a 0 to 3 scale (giving a detail rating out of 30).

RESULTS:

Six pandemic plans were identified for the South Pacific Islands, New Zealand, and Australia, from a search for 24 possible countries/territories. The least detailed plans were from Palau and Tonga, both with a detail score of 9/30. Nauru, the island with the smallest population and lowest GDP, presented a plan with a detail score of 22/30. The most detailed plans were from the larger and more developed countries, New Zealand (29/30), and Australia (27/30).

CONCLUSIONS:

There was a substantial difference in the quality of the border control components of the influenza pandemic plans examined. Some of this difference could be explained by the necessity to rationalise the range of border control strategies to match available resources. Plans from the more developed countries such as New Zealand and Australia had a greater level of detail than plans from smaller and less resourced island countries, but these plans could still be enhanced. Pacific islands could benefit from additional support to improve the depth of their pandemic planning. Future research on this topic could include broadening the assessment criteria used here and applying them to a larger number of plans, preferably as part of a constructive dialogue with the countries concerned.

PMID:
18670475
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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