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The national inventory of core capabilities for pandemic influenza preparedness and response: an instrument for planning and evaluation
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    Background

    Reviews of the global response to the 2009 pandemic of influenza A/H1N1 affirmed the importance of assessment of preparedness and response capabilities.

    Design

    The U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and partners developed the National Inventory of Core Capabilities for Pandemic Influenza Preparedness and Response (http://www.cdc.gov/flu/international/tools.htm) to collect data on coverage, quality, and timeliness in 12 domains: country planning, research and use of findings, communications, epidemiologic capability, laboratory capability, routine influenza surveillance, national respiratory disease surveillance and reporting, outbreak response, resources for containment, community-based interventions to prevent the spread of influenza, infection control, and health sector pandemic response. For each of the capabilities, we selected four indicators. Each indicator includes four levels of performance (0–3), ranging from no or limited capability to fully capable.

    Results

    In 2008, 40 countries in 6 regions of the World Health Organization (WHO) collected data using the instrument. In 2010 and 2012, 36 and 39 countries did so, respectively. Data collection at regular intervals allows changes in preparedness and response capabilities to be documented. In most countries, participants used the instrument and data collected to inform discussion and planning toward improving the country's level of preparedness for pandemic influenza.

    Conclusions

    The National Inventory provides countries with a systematic method to document the status of their capabilities with regard to pandemic influenza and to assess progress over time. The National Inventory produces data and findings that serve a wide range of users and uses.