Public health emergency preparedness aims to minimise the risks posed by communicable diseases and to mitigate their impact during a public health emergency, regardless of the scale of the event (local, regional, national, European). This requires capacities and capabilities for effective planning, coordination, early detection, assessment, investigation, response to, and communication in public health emergencies.
Preparedness for health threats in the field of communicable diseases builds, to a large extent, on the experience gained from pandemic influenza preparedness planning. Preparedness is now being more and more integrated in public health activities, and in a more generic approach, as planning processes and other tools necessary for emergency preparedness, mitigation and response are often similar regardless of the nature of the hazard.
Community engagement has the potential to be an enabler and/or a barrier to preparedness depending on how it is handled and constructed. The synergies between institutions and communities will influence the effectiveness of engagement programmes.
Public health emergency preparedness aims to minimise the risks posed by communicable diseases and to mitigate their impact during a public health emergency