News / Health

WHO Reviews H1N1 Flu Pandemic

Lisa Schlein

The World Health Organization is starting a review process Monday to examine the world's response to the H1N1 Flu pandemic.   A committee composed of 29 independent experts from around the world will be meeting between April 12 and 14 to take stock of what has been done and what needs to be done in future pandemics.

It has been one year since the H1N1 influenza virus was first detected.  Since then, many questions have been raised regarding the world's handling of the pandemic.

WHO Special Adviser on Pandemic Influenza Keiji Fukuda says the expert committee will examine the adequacy of that response.  

"The bottom line for the process is to identify lessons learned, to identify what the world needs to do including countries and organizations like WHO to be better prepared and also to respond to future pandemics and to future large-scale global public health events," said Fukuda.  

The World Health Organization has been criticized for allegedly exaggerating the dangers of the H1N1 virus under pressure from drug companies.  Some governments have suggested drug companies influenced public health officials to spend money unnecessarily on stockpiles of H1N1 vaccines.  

Dr. Fukuda refutes these charges.  He says he expects countries to air these and other concerns during the review committee meeting.  He says he considers the Review process to be timely for this and other reasons.    

"One of them is that we do not know when the pandemic itself is going to be over," added Fukuda. "However, we are now about a year into the pandemic and I think there is a lot of experience, which has been accumulated.  And, in addition, we want to conduct - at least begin the review process at a time when the memories are fresh - when the experience is fresh, the memories are fresh.  So, for those reasons, this seems to be a relatively good time to start it."  

The World Health Organization says more than 213 countries have reported more than 17,700 laboratory confirmed deaths of pandemic influenza H1N1.  It says the virus is circulating most actively in parts of Southeast Asia, West Africa, and in the tropical zone of the Americas.

The review process is expected to continue for many months.  This first review meeting will set the agenda for what follows.  WHO Director-General, Margaret Chan, will report to the World Health Assembly in May about the preliminary results of the review.  A final report will be ready next year.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs