World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


UN Health Card: Avian Flu Pandemic Threat Remains

UN global health report card: flu threat remains, progress made on TB, polio

The continued looming threat of a flu pandemic, outbreaks of Ebola, Marburg and other infectious diseases, and high female mortality rates during pregnancy and childbirth in developing countries are among the issues that mark 2007, according to the United Nations health agency.

But on the positive side, public and private partners came together to improve global health with notable results, the UN World Health Organization (WHO) reported.

Progress was made to halt resurging yellow fever in Africa, international health regulations came into effect giving the world clear guidance on reporting and responding to cross-border health dangers, and efforts to wipe out the last bastions of polio and to stop tuberculosis advanced.

Landmarks, such as major success in the fight to cut measles deaths in Africa, and the release of a more accurate profile of the HIV epidemic, were also notable.

WHO noted that avian influenza continued as a threat in several countries this year, with cumulative figures showing a human toll of more than 200 deaths in Asia, Africa, the eastern Mediterranean and Europe since December 2003.

"The world needs to be prepared for a potential influenza pandemic... with special attention to influenza viruses that come from the animal world such as H5N1," the agency said, referring to the virus behind the current outbreak.

"The good news is that countries are now more prepared than ever for such an emergency. For example, projected supplies for an influenza vaccine in the wake of a pandemic rose sharply this year, to 4.5 billion courses by 2010," it added.

On Ebola and Marburg fevers, WHO reported that its network of experts supported intensive surveillance and control measures in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. "Investigative work to pinpoint the suspected source of Marburg fever - sick bats in a mine shaft where people worked - helped to increase understanding of the emerging disease," it said.

But in another field, maternal death rates are falling too slowly in the developing countries. "A serious public health challenge was reconfirmed this year," the agency said. "The global maternal mortality ratio - which compares maternal deaths to live births - fell less than 1 per cent annually from 1990 to 2005. This compares to a required 5.5 per cent annual decline to meet the United Nations target to reduce maternal deaths by three quarters before 2015."

Eastern Asia came closest to the target with a more than 4 per cent annual decline.


Latest World News | Top World News | World Digest | Archives | RSS

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>


Mexico: Violence And Repression Of Teachers

The member organizations of Network for Peace express our indignation over the acts of repression that the Mexican State has carried out, through the police forces... In Chiapas, Guerrero and Oaxaca, the conflict has resulted in murders of teachers and civilians as well as hundreds of wounded and dozens of people arrested. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Britain's Pleas For Mercy

So… Boris Johnson is promising that he won't be holding a snap general election, if he's chosen as the next UK Conservative Party leader. Reportedly, he is even making that promise a feature of his leadership campaign, since a vote for Boris would therefore mean (wink wink) that his colleagues wouldn't have to risk their jobs and face the wrath of the British public until 2020. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news