Pandemic plans need to recognize not everyone is affected equally

    TORONTO, April 28 /CNW/ - Everybody is affected by a pandemic, but not
everyone is affected equally. That's the sobering conclusion of a new research
and policy paper released today by the Wellesley Institute. As the world
braces for a possible swine flu pandemic, the need for proper pandemic
planning and effective emergency responses is drawn into sharp focus.
"Bridging the Preparedness Divide" by emergency management consultant Thomas
Appleyard notes that Ontario's current health disaster plans recognize the
need to address inequities and inequalities, but fail to deliver the funding
or resources to meet the requirements of all Ontarians.
    "Encouraging people to develop a 72-hour stockpile of food, or warning
people to maintain a 'modified quarantine', that is, stay close to their home,
are both sensible and necessary measures," notes Appleyard. "But many
Ontarians, including lower-income people and people who are homeless, will
find these measures practically impossible to follow."
    "When it comes to pandemics, no one can be left out," says Rick
Blickstead, President and CEO of the Wellesley Institute in a policy brief
that accompanies the pandemic planning paper. "With a possible swine flu
epidemic looming larger, emergency plans need to include an equity lens -
which means that dollars and other resources need to flow to measures that
will meet the special requirements of disadvantaged communities."
    "Bridging the Preparedness Divide" by Thomas Appleyard, and the
accompanying policy brief by Blickstead and Michael Shapcott, the Wellesley
Institute's Director, Affordable Housing and Social Innovation, is available
on the Wellesley Institute web site at

For further information:

For further information: Michael Shapcott at (416) 605-8316

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The Wellesley Institute

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