Sun, Apr 28, 2013 - Page 8 News List

Plugging gaps in epidemic control

By Yang Yung-nane 楊永年

The complete mobilization of the administrative system may involve inter-ministerial, cross-agency, cross-level and interdisciplinary issues.

Imposing a ban on the slaughter of chickens, managing the nation’s borders and issuing travel warnings are all important measures. However, regardless of how the administrative system is mobilized, it could run into cooperation or integration difficulties due to the character of an agency or its organizational culture.

The Cabinet has set up a disaster prevention and protection office so that when a disaster occurs, it can play a integral role.

The problem is that neither the CDC nor the Department of Health may be familiar with the platform for integrating disaster prevention and protection, which could cause blind spots when fully mobilizing the administrative system.

Adding considerations about private sector or community epidemic prevention systems, the situation becomes even more complicated.

The nation’s epidemic prevention system should be fully prepared to deal with a possible spread of the H7N9 virus.

It is not the responsibility of the CDC alone, but also of the government and the public.

The government controls more information and resources than any other entity, so it should have a comprehensive response and mobilization plan for dealing with any outbreak.

In addition, to keep the public constantly informed of the latest information about an epidemic, it should provide clear explanations of the situation so that the public is able to gain a thorough understanding of the problems and difficulties in epidemic prevention.

This is the only way to obtain the public’s participation in containing an outbreak.

Yang Yung-nane is a professor in the Graduate Institute of Political Economy and the director of the Research Center of Science and Technology Governance at National Cheng Kung University.

Translated by Perry Svensson

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