News / Africa

Dozens of Countries to Receive Swine Flu Vaccine

The World Health Organization says it is stepping up the delivery of millions of doses of H1N1 Swine flu vaccine to dozens of developing countries. WHO says about one dozen African countries will be among the recipients. 

The World Health Organization says so far, it has delivered more than four million doses of the H1N1 swine flu vaccine to 17 countries.  The stocks are among 180 million doses of the vaccine donated to the WHO from pharmaceutical companies and industrialized countries.

WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl says 95 developing countries have requested the vaccine.  And he says in the coming weeks the WHO plans to ship millions of doses to some 25 countries in Africa, Central America and Eastern Europe. 

"The countries were identified and the countries then had to express interest themselves," said Hartl.  "So, they asked.  So, it is their wish to receive the vaccine.  And so those countries, which are ready and have expressed the wish, are those that will get it first.  So, obviously, there are some countries that are further along then others."  

Mongolia, Azerbaijan and Afghanistan were the first three countries to receive donations of H1N1 vaccines.  Hartl says Togo, on Thursday, became the first African country to receive the vaccine.  He says more African countries will follow, including Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa.

The World Health Organization says nearly 17,000 people in more than 213 countries and territories are confirmed as having died from H1N1 Swine Flu.  It says the most active areas of pandemic influenza transmission continue to be in Southeast Asia and West Africa.

WHO says 167 deaths have been confirmed in Africa.  Limited data suggests the spread of the pandemic flu virus has not yet peaked in West Africa.  And localized outbreaks of the disease recently have been reported in parts of East Africa, particularly in Rwanda.

Hartl says countries have to meet certain criteria before they can become eligible to receive the donations.  

"There have to be in place at each country level a national deployment plan that has certain elements in it in order to ensure that when the vaccine arrives in the country, it actually is received properly in cold storage and then distributed properly.  So, there were a number of steps that had to be gone through.  And, that is also then how quickly a country goes through these steps determines in part how quickly it gets the vaccine," he said.  

Hartl says countries will receive enough vaccine to immunize up to 10 percent of the population.  That includes health care workers, pregnant women and young people, who are at high risk of getting the disease.

The World Health Organization says it has delivered a first shipment of vaccine to Cuba, which has reported 54 deaths from H1N1, the greatest number in the Caribbean.  It says Nigeria, Africa's most populous country, will receive about 2.8 million doses.

You May Like

Obama: Action on Climate Change 'Economic, Security Imperative'

President spoke to reporters on sidelines of UN Climate Summit outside Paris, where leaders are working to agree on binding measures

IMF Bets on China’s Resolve to Reform

IMF announcement already raising questions about just how much Beijing is committed to such reforms

UNICEF: Hidden Epidemic of HIV Among Adolescents

Researchers warn that Asia Pacific nations facing sharp rise in incidence of HIV among adolescents

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

By the Numbers

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?i
Carol Pearson
November 29, 2015 1:23 PM
The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?

The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video Political Motives Seen Behind Cancelled Cambodian Water Festival

For the fourth time in the five years since more than 350 people were killed in a stampede at Cambodia’s annual water festival, authorities canceled the event this year. Officials blamed environmental reasons as the cause, but many see it as fallout from rising political tensions with a fresh wave of ruling party intimidation against the opposition. David Boyle and Kimlong Meng report from Phnom Penh.

Video African Circus Gives At-Risk Youth a 2nd Chance

Ethiopia hosted the first African Circus Arts Festival this past weekend with performers from seven different African countries. Most of the performers are youngsters coming form challenging backgrounds who say the circus gave them a second chance.

Video US Lawmakers Brace for End-of-Year Battles

U.S. lawmakers are returning to Washington for Congress’ final working weeks of the year. And, as VOA's Michael Bowman reports, a full slate of legislative business awaits them, from keeping the federal government open to resolving a battle with the White House over the admittance of Syrian refugees.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video After Terrorist Attacks, Support for Refugees Fades

The terrorists who killed and injured almost 500 people around Paris this month are mostly French or Belgian nationals. But at least two apparently took advantage of Europe’s migrant crisis to sneak into the region. The discovery has hardened views about legitimate refugees, including those fleeing the same extremist violence that hit the French capital. Lisa Bryant has this report for VOA from the Paris suburb of Cergy-Pontoise

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

As Thailand takes in the annual Loy Krathong festival, many ponder the country’s future and security. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continues

One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs