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WHO’s Chan Says Swine Flu Will ‘Test’ World On ‘Fairness’

Addressing a meeting of South East Asian health ministers Tuesday, WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said the H1N1 (swine) flu pandemic will “test the world on the issue of fairness” and “reveal in a measurable and tragic way the consequences of decades of failure to invest adequately in basic health systems and infrastructure,” Agence France-Presse reports.

WHO Says 3B People Worldwide Could Receive H1N1 Vaccine

Recent findings that a single dose of an H1N1 (swine) flu vaccine offers protection against the virus and anticipation of vaccination programs starting earlier than predicted will increase the number of people worldwide with access to the vaccine and the likelihood health officials may be able to control the spread of the virus, Bloomberg reports.

U.N. General Assembly Votes To Create U.N. Agency For Women

After three years of negotiations, the U.N. General Assembly unanimously voted on Monday “to create a new, more powerful agency for women, in a move supporters hailed as a breakthrough for women’s equality and rights,” Reuters reports (Worsnip, 9/14).

News Outlets Examine West Africa Floods

The torrential rains that began in June in West Africa and subsequent floods have forced an estimated 150,000 people from their homes and claimed the lives of 160, VOA News reports. The worst affected countries include Senegal, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Niger and Sierra Leone.

Two-Day Forum Addresses Maternal, Child Mortality In Asia-Pacific Region

Poor health care, gender inequality, violence and poverty are to blame for Asian-Pacific countries’ failure to significantly reduce maternal and child mortality rates in the region, Noeleen Heyzer, executive secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), said during the Asia-Pacific Forum on International Conference on Population and Development in Bangkok, VOA News reports.

Chan Calls For Additional H1N1 Vaccines For Poor Countries During WHO Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting

During the WHO Asia-Pacific regional meeting Monday, WHO Director-General Margaret Chan discussed the organization’s efforts to ensure that poor nations have access to H1N1 vaccines, VOA News reports (Bayron, 9/21). ABC Radio Australia reports Chan is seeking “three billion doses of swine flu vaccine to be made available worldwide, especially in developing countries where it still poses a serious risk” (9/22).