Archive for Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Health expert cites lack of bird flu funding

September 20, 2006


— The World Health Organization still lacks half the funds it needs to help countries fight bird flu as more human cases are expected in the coming months, the acting director-general said Tuesday.

WHO needs $90 million to $100 million over a two-year period, but only has received about half that amount, Anders Nordstrom told reporters in Auckland.

"We have still not been able to fill the gap. There's still a shortfall," Nordstrom said. "We still are able to respond when there are outbreaks, but to be able to really work with countries to build up good surveillance systems and information systems, we do need more resources."

Nordstrom spoke on the sidelines of the weeklong annual WHO Western Pacific regional meeting in Auckland, New Zealand, which brings together health officials from across the Asia-Pacific to set the organization's strategic agenda for coming years.

Bird flu has remained a top item on the meeting's agenda for the third straight year.


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