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Report

Urbanization and preparedness for outbreaks with high-impact respiratory pathogens

Epidemics in urban environments present public health challenges that affect local, national and global health security as much as having a sizeable impact on society and the economy.

Urbanization report.JPG

Epidemics in urban environments present public health challenges that affect local, national and global health security as much as having a sizeable impact on society and the economy.


Urban areas are heterogeneous and therefore implementation of the recommendations of this report will be determined by a city’s available resources, current preparedness, as well as adjusting them to local needs and characteristics. The recommendations are based on available literature, experiences from previous outbreaks, the current COVID-19 outbreak, NIPH’s own experts and feedback from reviewers.

The recommendations are given within the following areas:

  • Multi-sectoral approach, including financial, political and governance research during an emerging outbreak
  • Access to health care
  • Non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPI)
  • Infection prevention and control
  • Outbreak surveillance
  • Laboratory preparedness
  • Mass vaccination plans
  • Communicating with the population in a health crisis
  • Modelling the outbreak
  • Research during an emerging outbreak

In addition, the report makes the following recommendations to the World Health Organization:

  1. Recommendations for urban preparedness should be developed in the years to come, including specific tools and guidelines.
  2. IHR Monitoring and Evaluation Framework should consider including urban preparedness.
  3. The Joint External Evaluations should integrate indicators that would measure subnational capacities, including in urban settings.
  4. Set up collaboration networks between megacities to share experiences, data and tools in order to prepare preparedness plans.
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About this publication

  • By: Norwegian Institute of Public Health
  • ISBN (digital): 978-82-8406-107-8