Protective Health Measures for Pandemic Influenza

Organizations whose operations are global must plan for normal sized and extra large problems, and for expected and unexpected ones. One concern that epidemiologists tell us that we face in the near future is the likelihood of an influenza pandemic. Medical experts believe that the world is now closer to pandemic influenza than at any time since 1968 (when a mild influenza pandemic killed 1 million people). 

For international organizations, a pandemic presents particular logistical challenges in order to continue with operations while protecting staff. WFP, like many other UN organizations, gives assistance to millions of needy beneficiaries all around the world. WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency and the UN’s frontline agency for hunger solutions. In 2009, WFP aims to feed around 100 million people in 74 countries.

“Protective Health Measures for Pandemic Influenza" is the first in a series of presentations on steps that public health experts recommend for limiting the spread and transmission of infection in a pandemic. It has been made by WFP for its staff and family members, for other UN agencies and other international programs.

Stay well to serve well

Protective Health Measures – Introduces the concept of  how an everyday event, such as coming to work in an office setting, might change during an influenza pandemic.


Hand Hygiene – Handwashing is considered to be the single most effective means of preventing the spread of infections.  This video will take you through using soap and water and hand sanitizing gel in order to effectively clean your hands.  This video follows WHO guidelines for Hand Hygiene.


Masks and Particulate Masks –  These next two videos describe how to safely put on and take off these two different types of masks.  


Particulate Masks

Personal Protective Equipment -  Due to the very nature of emergency operations, staff are often requested to operate in hazardous environments.  In WFP it is forseen that in case of pandemic influenza, staff will be called upon, where possible, not only to maintain critical operations but also to provide new services in response to requests from national governments. In some cases this may put staff in close contact with those who may be infected. The video below describes the type of equipment currently available to WFP staff, how to put it on, take it off and dispose of it.

Guidance for Drivers and Transporters-  'Organisations, and especially those with global operations, must constantly plan for both expected and unexpected critical events, including outbreaks of infectious disease.  Ensuring  the continuity of humanitarian relief efforts -- particularly logistics supply chains -- under such conditions is imperative.  Staff  from  across  the  UN  System,  international  organisations and the commercial  transport sector  can  benefit  from  the  precautions and work practices that surface transporters should use  to clean and disinfect their vehicles safely'.


For more resources, please check the Aid Professionals section of this site.