6th Mena influenza stakeholders meeting
6 - 7 April 2017 - Prague (Czech Republic)
The 6th MENA-ISN meeting was held on 6-7 April, 2017 in Prague. A total of 20 participants from 12 countries attended the meeting. The meeting was organized by the Meriéux Foundation.
MENA-ISN initiative continues growing and providing high level of training on all aspects of influenza to prominent stakeholders in the region with the aim of increasing awareness and reducing burden of influenza in MENA region. Pakistan was represented for the first time with two members, Dr. Yusuf Kamal Mirza and Dr. Muhammad Nadeem Khawaja. New members from Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Dr. Fatima Younis Al Slail, from Morocco, Dr. Dahbi Zahra, and from Jordan Dr. Mohammad Ratib Ali Surour also joined the meeting in Prague. With new additions, the MENA-ISN community is becoming richer, more diverse and highly motivated in sharing country specific information and developing ideas on how to increase influenza awareness and vaccination coverage rates to protect people against influenza in the regional countries.
During the 6th meeting, each country representative summarized the country objectives for the upcoming 3 years, country influenza epidemiology for current season and presented the achieved actions set for 2016-2017 influenza season. The meeting was very vibrant with many discussions and ideas that were motivating for all members.
External speakers of this meeting were Dr. Wenging Zhang, WHO/ Geneva and Atika Abelin, Sanofi Pasteur, France. Dr. Zhang joined the meeting through Skype and delivered comprehensive information on burden influenza and WHO projects for estimating the global burden of influenza with newly developed tools. Dr. Zhang also draw attention to reality of pandemics emphasizing the importance of vaccines in mitigation of pandemics and WHO’s position in improving seasonal influenza surveillance in order to be better prepared for the future pandemics. She also talked about the vaccine virus selection process and emphasized on the importance of increasing vaccine production capacity and use of seasonal influenza vaccines as part of pandemic preparedness.
Thursday, April 6
Session 1: Country Action plan achievements
Ghassan DBAIBO and Suleiman ABUSREWIL
Session 2: Country action plan achievements
Masoud MARDANI and Omaima IDRIS
Session 3: Country action plan achievements
Jalal NOURLIL and Fatma NUR AKSAKAL
Session 4: country action plan achievements
Salah AL AWAIDI
Session 5: Panel discussion - Impact of Influenza in 2016-2017 on Hospitalizations-Turkey