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Monday, April 18, 2011

WHO : Landmark agreement improves global preparedness for influenza pandemics

Press release from WHO, excerpt, please go to the site link for full information :

" 17 April 2011 | Geneva : After a week of negotiations continued through Friday night and into Saturday morning, an open-ended working-group meeting of Member States successfully agreed upon a framework to ensure that in a pandemic, influenza virus samples will be shared with partners who need the information to take steps to protect public health.

The working-group meeting was convened under the authority of the World Health Assembly and coordinated by WHO.

Responding effectively to future flu pandemics

The new framework includes certain binding legal regimes for WHO, national influenza laboratories around the world and industry partners in both developed and developing countries that will strengthen how the world responds more effectively with the next flu pandemic. By making sure that the roles and obligations among key players are better established than in the past - including through the use of contracts - the framework will help increase and expedite access to essential vaccines, antivirals and diagnostic kits, especially for lower-income countries.

In addition, the framework will also put the world in a better position for seasonal influenza and potential pandemic threats such as the H5N1 virus, because some key activities will begin before the next pandemic, such as greater support for strengthening laboratories and surveillance, and partnership contributions from the industry."

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