Emerging disease surveillance and response

Regional Training for Clinical Management of Avian Influenza A(H7N9) and Other Causes of Severe Acute Respiratory Infection

16-18 May 2014
Nanjing City, Jiangsu Province, China

Background Information

It has been a decade since Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) emerged, and once again the Western Pacific Region is facing a new emerging infectious disease threat in the shape of avian influenza A (H7N9). Sporadic outbreaks of Avian Influenza A (H5N1) have also been causing serious public health concerns among Member States in the Region.

The Asia Pacific Strategy for Emerging Diseases (APSED 2010) serves as the strategic framework for countries and areas in the Asia Pacific Region to build capacities to prevent or minimize the international spread of diseases in line with the International Health Regulations (IHR 2005). The updated APSED (2010) emphasizes the importance of building capacities in clinical case management of critically ill patients during infectious disease outbreaks to reduce morbidity and mortality.

Human infections with influenza, novel coronavirus and other pathogens cause Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI). Ensuring a delivery of high quality clinical care in the management of SARI is critical to the development of capacities to respond to the outbreaks of these diseases. WHO has developed training packages for clinical management of SARI in low- and middle-income countries. In the Western Pacific Region, a WHO training workshop was held in May 2013 in Viet Nam.

The Regional Training for Clinical Management of Influenza A (H7N9) and Severe Acute Respiratory Infection aims to improve the clinicians’ knowledge and skills in diagnosis, treatment and infection control of critically ill patients. The training contributes to the capacity-strengthening of health care facilities, enhancing clinical networks and identifying issues associated with the clinical management of influenza A (H7N9) and SARI.

The objectives of the training are:

  • To share experience and knowledge in clinical management of human infection with Avian Influenza A(H7N9) and Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI), and to improve clinical skills and appropriate clinical management; and
  • To strengthen the capacities of the existing regional and global clinical network, and to promote linkage between health care and public health systems.