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Preparedness is the key

Project Updates


1 Mar 2012

Mr Martin Seychell, Deputy Director General of the Directorate General for Health and Consumers, European Commission, complimented ASEF’s commitment in strengthening Asia-Europe public health cooperation during the Public Briefing “Asia and Europe: are we prepared for future pandemics” in Brussels, Belgium (2 February 2012). During his speech as the Guest of Honour he said: “Preparedness by critical sectors of the society is the key to minimise the negative effects of a future major health emergency across the society”.

This Public Briefing was the follow up from the ASEF-ASAP (Accurate Scenarios Active Preparedness) scenarios launch in Bangkok, Thailand last year. ASEF Public Health Network encourages individuals and organisations across Asia and Europe to use these scenarios to develop effective, long-term, multi-sectoral strategies for preparedness and response of pandemics or any health emergencies.

Appreciating the relevance of scenario planning methodology in preparing for health emergencies, Prof Marc Van Ranst said: “During a crisis, it is important to continuously tailor your actions with constantly evolving situations. A range of different scenarios allows you to seamlessly switch from one scenario to another. This operational agility is a key factor to an appropriate crisis response.” Prof Van Ranst was one of the esteemed panellists during the Briefing in Brussels.

A set of recommendations, from the Network’s Strategy Development Workshop for Air Transport Sector, was also shared with the public for the first time during the Briefing in Brussels. Prof Dr Jürgen Graf, Director of Medical Service, Lufthansa, who was one of the panellists at the Briefing and also participated in the above-mentioned workshop, shared his experience in using the scenarios to strengthen preparedness in air transport passenger services. According to Prof Dr Graf, “imagining possible futures is important to facilitate effective pandemic preparedness programmes in the air transport sector. It helps in business continuity management in the interest of both, the sector and the community at large.”

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