News / Europe

WHO Denies Hyping Dangers of Swine Flu

Multimedia

Audio

The World Health Organization refutes charges by politicians in some European countries that it has exaggerated the dangers of Swine Flu.  The WHO also denies any of its decisions have been improperly influenced by the pharmaceutical industry for commercial reasons.

The World Health Organization has been clearly stung by these criticisms.  Special Adviser to the WHO Director-General on Pandemic Influenza, Keiji Fukuda says there is no truth to the allegations that the agency overplayed the severity of the pandemic.  

"I want to emphasize the world is going through a real pandemic.  The description of it as a fake is both wrong and is irresponsible.  The second point is that WHO has been balanced and truthful in the information it has provided to the public.  It has not underplayed and it has not overplayed the risks of a pandemic," he said.  

Fukuda says the allegation that H1N1 is not a pandemic is scientifically wrong and historically inaccurate.  He says when WHO Director-General, Margaret Chan, announced the pandemic last year, she said it would be of mild severity.

He notes about 13,000 people are believed to have been directly killed by the H1N1 influenza virus.  He adds this figure is likely to be considerably higher when the final estimate of the toll from H1N1 is made in the future.

He says the World Health Organization does not have a crystal ball and does not know how the disease will evolve.  He says WHO has always been very balanced and sober in providing its assessment.

"We have worked very hard to neither overplay nor underplay the situation.  And, we have worked very hard to try to reduce confusion rather than to create it," he said.. "Now, since we have always known and have repeatedly said that pandemics can range from mild to severe, we have also pointed out that severity can change in mid-stream.  And, given this situation, WHO and other responsible health authorities have adopted a precautionary approach.  That is we have tried to prepare everyone for the worst and to hope for the best," he added.

The World Health Organization says it has not been subject to any undue influence from pharmaceutical companies.  Dr. Fukuda says the organization has worked hard to make sure there is no conflict of interest when seeking advice.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid