No announcement yet.

New UN study urges sustained momentum to tackle human, animal influenza threats

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • New UN study urges sustained momentum to tackle human, animal influenza threats

    David Nabarro, Senior UN System Coordinator for Avian and Human Influenza

    14 April 2010 ? While there has been substantial global progress towards pandemic preparedness in recent years, it is vital to maintain that momentum to respond effectively to existing and possible future threats, according to a new study by the United Nations and the World Bank.

    ?Continued global vigilance for infectious disease outbreaks and pandemics is of critical importance for health security and well-being,? says the report, entitled ?Animal and pandemic influenza: a framework for sustaining momentum.?
    The report notes that an estimated 75 per cent of new human diseases originate in animals and an average of two new animal diseases with cross-over capabilities emerge every year.
    The emergence of three major epidemiological events into the first decade of the new century ? SARS, H5N1 avian influenza and H1N1 pandemic influenza ? is an indication of the rate at which threats may continue to arise, it adds.
    ?Sustaining momentum,? states the report, ?will require a strategic use of resources and a move away from emergency response-driven projects and special, single-focus initiatives, to long-term capacity-building.?
    The report will be taken up by delegates from over 80 countries when they meet at the International Ministerial Conference on Animal and Pandemic Influenza, which will be held in Hanoi, Viet Nam, from 20 to 21 April.
    ?This is a really significant conference,? David Nabarro, Senior UN System Influenza Coordinator, told reporters in New York, noting that the gathering will take stock of where the world is with regard to bird flu and the H1N1 virus, review preparedness and consider lessons learned from countries with successful control efforts.
    The threats from bird flu and H1N1 are not over yet, he noted, stressing the need for further measures to ensure an effective global response.
    ?We have to find ways to put the work on bird flu and on pandemics more into the routine business of ministries of health and ministries of agriculture, into the routine work of disaster preparedness units in countries,? he stated. ?And so an important element of the discussions in Hanoi will be the way forward.?
    Part of the work in Hanoi, he added, will be to consider whether or not extra preparedness is necessary to ensure that those who look after animal health and those that look after human health are working together well enough to prepare for disease threats that come from animals. A key question, he noted, is: ?Are we well enough organized as a world to be prepared for diseases that can jump from the animal kingdom and lead to sickness and possibly quite widespread suffering among humans??

  • #2
    Re: New UN study urges sustained momentum to tackle human, animal influenza threats

    <TABLE border=0 cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width=980><TBODY><TR><TD vAlign=top background=/08travel/images/content_03.jpg><TABLE border=0 cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width=960><TBODY><TR><TD vAlign=top width=654>China Makes Progress in Thwarting Avian Flu
    <TABLE cellSpacing=1 cellPadding=5 width="100%"><TBODY><TR><TD style="PADDING-BOTTOM: 10px; PADDING-LEFT: 10px; PADDING-RIGHT: 10px; PADDING-TOP: 10px" class=content02> 2010-04-15 04:20:44 Xinhua Web Editor: Bao Congying </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE></TD><TD vAlign=top width=306> </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
    </TD></TR><TR><TD vAlign=top></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

    <TABLE border=0 cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width=980><TBODY><TR><TD vAlign=top width=660><TABLE border=0 cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width=660><TBODY><TR><TD vAlign=top></TD></TR><TR><TD vAlign=top background=/08travel/images/content_07.jpg><TABLE id=dstTable class=content03 border=0 cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=10 width="100%"><TBODY><TR><TD>A senior United Nations official said on Wednesday that China is making "real progress" in tackling the deadly H5N1, commonly known as avian influenza.
    David Nabarro, the senior UN system coordinator for avian and human pandemic influenza, made the comment at a press briefing on the annual progress report on animal and pandemic influenza.
    "There really has been real progress in that country both on the strategy and its implementation," Nabarro told reporters.
    In March, Nabarro met in Bali, Indonesia with governments from five countries where avian flu is still "a major problem" -- Bangladesh, China, Egypt, Indonesia, and Vietnam.
    Nabarro said he spoke extensively with a high-powered Chinese delegation, who briefed him on the joint work of health and agricultural officials, who are encouraged to travel anywhere in the country to assess the situation on the ground.
    "It was quite extraordinary to see the candor with which the new chief veterinary officer was describing the approaches that he and colleagues are using now to address the ongoing problem of avian influenza and the strategy they are pursuing to try to reduce the risk of H5N1 transmission in poultry," he said.
    The 1.3 billion-populated country has mobilized several governmental sectors including the Ministries of Health, Agriculture, Foreign Affairs and China Center for Disease Control to be engaged in the prevention of the influenza's outbreak.
    Avian flu has largely been missing from recent global headlines, said Nabarro, as countries have undertaken an intense effort to control the virus and last year's emergence of H1N1, or swine flu, spread rapidly and continues to be a main cause of sickness.
    The crowding of H1N1, H5N1, and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) into the first decade of the new century is an indication of the rate at which threats may continue to arise, said the new UN study, entitled "Animal and Pandemic Influenza: A Framework for Sustaining Momentum."
    "As globalization factors improve the ability of viruses to rapidly cross borders, and as human settlements push into virgin tropical forests and climate change disrupts animal habitats, the incidence of the new diseases may quicken and their reach may extend," said the report.
    On April 20-21, ministers will gather in Hanoi, Vietnam to take stock of lessons learned and to consider whether extra measures should be taken, said Nabarro.
    The report highlighted that the key challenge now is to turn promising beginnings of cross-sector work into more sustained and holistic approaches.
    "Most countries have still to develop in-country institutional frameworks and to tackle the root cause of disease emergence, to respond to diseases as they emerge and to maintain public and political interest in the face of ever-changing perceptions and needs," said the study.
    Since 2003, there have been over 476 confirmed human cases of avian flu, and 284 deaths, reported in 15 countries. While the overall number of reported outbreaks and countries affected has declined "dramatically" since 2006, the number of confirmed human cases has doubled since 2008, added the report