WHO has launched a new initiative to help improve preparation for future pandemics. The ‘PRET Initiative’ provides guidance on integrated planning for responding to any respiratory pathogen such as influenza or coronaviruses.
PRET stands for ‘Preparedness and Resilience for Emerging Threats’ and will be used by WHO to guide countries in pandemic planning, given that many capacities and capabilities are common among groups of pathogens.
WHO says that PRET answers the call for technical guidance and support for promoting and strengthening integrated preparedness and response, as outlined in World Health Assembly resolutions.
“Preparedness, prevention, and response activities must not be the province of the health sector alone,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “Just as health emergencies have impacts across many sectors, so must our preparedness and response efforts span sectors, disciplines and pathogens. It is critical, too, that community engagement and equity are the centre of our efforts, especially for those populations that are marginalized and most at risk.”
PRET is an evolution of WHO’s approach to pandemic preparedness ‘through the application of a mode of transmission lens, rather than a focus on specific diseases’. However, WHO will continue to develop and disseminate guidance on specific diseases as needed.