The North American Plan for Animal and Pandemic Influenza (NAPAPI)
, launched by President Barack Obama, President Felipe Calderon of Mexico, and Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada at the North American Leaders Summit (NALS)
in April 2012, provides a comprehensive, regional and cross-sectoral, health security framework. The framework outlines how Canada, Mexico, and the United States intend to strengthen our emergency response capacities, as well as our trilateral collaborations and capabilities to assist each other and ensure a quick and coordinated response to outbreaks of animal influenza or an influenza pandemic. This framework fulfills the commitment made by the Presidents of Mexico and the United States and the Prime Minister of Canada at the NALS, held in August 2009 in Guadalajara, Mexico, for a continued and deepened cooperation on pandemic influenza preparedness, including enhancing public health capabilities and facilitating routine and efficient information sharing.
From 2010 to April 2012, DIHS launched and chaired the North American Health Security Working Group (HSWG) and served as the Executive Secretariat for the North American Senior Coordinating Body (SCB). As established in the NAPAPI framework, the SCB provides a high-level forum for collaboration on animal and pandemic influenza preparedness and includes assistant secretary-level senior officials from the health, agriculture, public safety/homeland security, and foreign affairs sectors of the three countries. In addition, the SCB oversees the activities of the HSWG, which include technical and policy subject matter experts from the three countries. The Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response is the senior official representing the Department of Health and Human Services in the SCB and serves as the U.S. chair.
In 2011, the HSWG conducted a revision of the 2007 North American Plan for Avian and Pandemic Influenza
that retains the key elements of the original framework, while incorporating the lessons learned from the North American response to Pandemic (H1N1) 2009. Guided by the principles established in the NAPAPI, the HSWG turned its attention to developing the NAPAPI Implementation Actions in 2012. The Implementation Actions outline a path forward for improving pandemic influenza preparedness in North America.
Key areas identified for action include:
- Mutual assistance during a response, particularly with regard to sharing medical countermeasures and personnel;
- Interconnected systems for surveillance and early warning;
- Protocols for emergency communications, laboratory sample transportation, and joint epidemiological investigations;
- Integration on human and animal health; and
- Development of border policies and protection of critical infrastructure.