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Threat and protection

Boundary-making, categorization and identification in pandemic preparedness and response

Jose A. Cañada

In April 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared influenza A H1N1 a public-health emergency of international concern. This event was especially significant for marking the first pandemic outbreak to fall under 2005’s new International Health Regulations, an ambitious binding agreement to regulate international health. Since then, other communicable diseases have provoked similar international responses, with Ebola and Zika among the latest examples. Each of them has occasioned scrutiny of the ability of national and international health organisations – the WHO among them – to handle health threats and emergencies situated at global level. Among the issues recurrently rearing their head amid controversy are uniformity in enforcement of international regulations across contexts, promotion of specific lines of research, rapid development of new drugs, the management of local and international health-care workers’ activities, and engagement with local populations. One of the main ways in which health organisations respond to the uncertainty generally associated with pandemic threats is through biopreparedness policies – policies that articulate response and resource management mechanisms before a pandemic event is declared or even before its characteristics are known. The thesis examines the discourses and practices of institutional and scientific actors, for greater understanding of how knowledge is constructed and later carried into implementation in such conditions of uncertainty.

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  • Julkaisija Valtiotieteellinen tiedekunta (Helsingin yliopisto)
    Julkaisuvuosi 2018
    Sivumäärä 266
    Kieli Englanti
    Sarjat
    Ulkoasu B5,pehmeäkantinen
    ISBN 9789515133175
    ISSN 2343-273X