|© UNICEF Indonesia/2007/Estey|
|Schoolchildren learn about bird flu in the village of Tukadaya, Bali, where the disease is suspected in the death of one of their classmates.|
UNICEF’s role in avian influenza has been communication for behaviour change strategies, under the technical lead of FAO and WHO for animal and human health issues, respectively. For pandemic influenza, there are a range of preparedness tasks that UNICEF has undertaken at both the global and country level.
In addition to supporting governments develop national pandemic preparedness plans, UNICEF has been working to strengthen vaccine and supplies delivery systems in selected countries as a means to ensure functional systems to rapidly deliver these supplies. Maintaining preparedness is costly. Therefore, pandemic preparedness needs to be and is in the process of being mainstreamed into general emergency preparedness. Additionally, being prepared to respond to a major health emergency would not only be relevant during a pandemic but also during other natural and man-made emergencies.