News / Health

WHO Reviews H1N1 Flu Pandemic

TEXT SIZE - +
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

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid