Department of Communicable Disease Surveillance & Control
Directorate General of Health Affairs Ministry of Health HQ, PO Box 393
PC 100, MUSCAT
Sultanate of Oman
Tel : + (968) 24601921/ 24607524
Fax : + (968) 24601832
Email : email@example.com
Influenza A(H1N1)2009 Pandemic Response
A novel strain of Influenza A (H1N1a) spread rapidly through Mexico in April 2009 and spanned the globe. By the time the World Health Organization (WHO) was notified and had responded, Geographical containment was not feasible, leading the agency to call for mitigation. We were aware that the first wave was not as widespread or pathogenic as originally feared, but there was still a possibility that this influenza strain could evolve to become more dangerous in the subsequent waves, as it did in the 1918 Spanish influenza that killed some 50 million individuals.
The international outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003 and the more recent influenza A(H5N1) among birds with limited transmission to humans had galvanized the efforts of Ministry of Health in Oman towards a specific plan for dealing with the pandemic threat. SARS pandemic also stimulated the WHO to revise its antiquated International Health regulations in 2005, which took effect from June 15, 2007. Oman like all other member states was a signatory to it. The revised international Health Regulations for the first time in history permitted an organized global response within the rule of international law, and the pH1N1 offered the first test of its effectiveness. The Ministry of health in Oman has responded to the pandemic threat in lines with these international obligations & regulations effectively matching the resources available for optimal public health practices.