In the midst of the 21st-century’s first pandemic, one of the UK’s foremost experts on pandemic illness will address an audience of health professionals and students at the University of Chester on how to anticipate for, and manage the spread of, the H1N1 (Swine Flu) virus most effectively.

Professor Lindsey Davies CBE, the Department of Health’s National Director of Pandemic Influenza Preparedness, will offer an insight into the business continuity challenges posed by the current outbreak of Swine Flu, during the fourth Haygarth Public Health Lecture for Cheshire at the University of Chester next week.

Entitled Preparing for Pandemics – how far should we go? Professor Davies’s lecture will be evaluating the UK’s readiness to anticipate, and react to, the changing situation globally and locally during the prestigious event, which is a joint venture between the University, the NHS in Cheshire, and the Communities of Cheshire Partnership.

The collaborative approach towards preventative measures to combat ’flu which has been taken within the University, in consultation with external public health bodies, over the course of the last two years has won praise from the higher education executive organisation, Universities UK.

Among the more innovative publicity strategies, devised by Advertising and Graphic Design students, was a campaign involving the personification of Swine Flu in the form of the character ‘Viral Man’, which has gained national prominence in student and health publications.

In addition, academics within the Faculty of Health and Social Care, who, with the UK Health Protection Agency, secured a joint bid from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, have developed a curriculum now being adopted by those overseeing human seasonal influenza preparations across each EU country.

The Haygarth Lecture was established to celebrate the long tradition of public health action in Cheshire, and is named in honour of the 18th-century physician, John Haygarth, who practised Medicine at Chester Infirmary, and has been described as ‘Clinical Investigator – Apostle of Sanitation’.

Recent speakers have included Professor Tim Lang, Professor of Food Policy at City University on Can Health be a Driver for the Food Supply Chain, exploring sustainability issues, and Professor Alan Maryon-Davis, President of the UK Faculty of Public Health, on Shouting for Health: the Art and Science of Health Advocacy.

This year’s Lecture is being held in the Binks Building on the University’s Chester campus at 6.15pm on Thursday, December 3. Anyone wishing to attend, should contact Jess Hitchcock, Administrator of the University’s Centre for Public Health Research, on 01244 511740, or email