WHO sets up independent review of swine flu response
Tuesday 30 March 2010
The World Health Organisation said Monday it would go ahead next month with an independent review of the response to the swine flu pandemic, after criticism of its role in declaring a global alert.
The international response will be scrutinised by a committee of 29 independent health experts and scientists which is being formed by the UN health agency, Special Advisor on Pandemic Influenza Keiji Fukuda said.
"The first meeting will be on 12 to 14 April," he told journalists, promising an "in depth and broad" review into "the preparedness and the response to the current influenza pandemic."
"The bottom line for doing this is to identify what we have to do to get better," he added.
Fukuda acknowledged that with hindsight a better response would have involved "less confusion".
It would be up to the experts to determine what issues to deal with and who to question, with their final report due in time for the annual assembly of the WHO's 193 member states in May 2011, Fukuda added.
In January WHO officials had responded to growing criticism of its guidance by promising an independent review, but only when the pandemic was regarded as over.
Fukuda stressed on Monday that A(H1N1) influenza was continuing in parts of Southeast Asia, West and central Africa, while there were reports of renewed cases in Central and South America.
A British newspaper reported that a Council of Europe probe scrutinising the WHO's response believed that the health agency had "gambled away" public confidence by overstating the dangers of A(H1N1) flu.
"This decline in confidence could be risky in the future," The Guardian's online edition Sunday quoted a draft report by Paul Flynn, vice-chair of the Council's health committee, as saying.
Flynn reportedly warned that it could undermine the response to a future pandemic, prompting people to shun advice on vaccination and potentially put their own health and lives at risk.
The WHO declared a global pandemic in June 2009, weeks after putting the world on an emergency footing over the sudden discovery and swift spread of the then unknown new swine flu virus in April 2009 in Mexico and the United States.
The flu now reaches into 213 countries and overseas territories, having left more than 16,900 people dead, according to the agency's data.
Harry Potter actor suffered 'severe flu-like symptoms' on a flight from London to Orlando
Rap music mogul accused of running two men over in his truck
World cities ranked in terms of safety, food security and 'liveability'
First full-length look is finally here
"Oink! Oink! Hee hee hee!" First interview with the big-screen star
Biohacking group hopes technology will lead people to think about even more dystopian uses
The party's potential nominations read like a high school race for student body president
Life & Style blogs
Who is Teresa Fidalgo? Debunking the fake ghost story that's got Instagram spooked
Snapchat removed the Best Friends list feature and 'stalkers' are upset
Baldness could soon be treated using stem cells, scientists hope
A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
Eight-year-old girl Camilla Lisant suggests possible cancer treatment to her scientist father over the dinner table
- 1 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 2 The awkward moment Sarah Palin raised $25,000 for Hillary Clinton's election campaign
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
- 5 Baldness could soon be treated using stem cells, scientists hope
£10670 - £16640 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...
£36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Regional Gas Installation Manager is r...
£29000 - £31000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Domestic Gas Service and Brea...
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is a two form entry primary schoo...