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  • Author: K. U. Menon
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies (NTS)
  • Abstract: The 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic, also known as the swine flu pandemic, was a test of risk communications methodology and processes. Governments were called upon to make tough decisions in the absence of substantive epidemiological data and baffling case fatality rates (CFRs). While New York adopted mitigation measures, Hong Kong and Singapore followed aggressive containment protocols. Recent studies however suggest that the benefits of such measures – achieved at great cost and allocation of resources – are minimal. This review looks primarily at the experience of a small city-state, Singapore, and compares it with two other equally densely populated cities – New York and Hong Kong – and how all three confronted the challenge and the lessons to be drawn from their experience in risk communications. Communicating risk required deft handling by political leaders and officials to persuade people to adopt strict measures. In the wake of the 2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic, there were high expectations in Hong Kong and Singapore for visible containment measures to continue in the event of future pandemics even when benefits were known to be minimal. Cultural differences may explain the receptivity of the populace in these countries to the stiff measures put in place to contain the disease. However, this requires further study.
  • Topic: Health
  • Political Geography: Israel, Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Richard Fielding
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies (NTS)
  • Abstract: Pandemic influenza A/H1N1 (pH1N1) spread rapidly from its origins in Mexico to affect Hong Kong as its first point of entry into Asia. In this paper, the different stages of government response from prevention to mitigation to vaccination and stand down are described and discussed from the perspectives of feasibility, pragmatism, effectiveness and population responses to offer insights into future influenza pandemic preparedness.
  • Topic: Globalization, Government, Health
  • Political Geography: Israel, Asia, Mexico, Hong Kong