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

At International AIDS Conference One Goal, Many Paths

The 12,000 delegates attending 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne have vastly different visions about how to eradicate disease More

Disasters May Doom Malaysia’s Flag Carrier

Even before loss of two jets loaded with passengers on international flights, company had been operating in red for three years, accumulating deficit of $1.3 billion More

Afghan Presidential Vote Audit Continues Despite Glitches

Process has been marred by walkouts by representatives of two competing candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani 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.
Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Agei
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 20, 2014 2:36 AM
Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Video

Video Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.
Video

Video Scientists Create Blackest Material Ever

Of all the black things in the universe only the infamous "black holes" are so black that not even a tiny amount of light can bounce back. But scientists have managed to create material almost as black, and it has enormous potential use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenya

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

AppleAndroid