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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.

Also In Global Health News: West Africa Flooding; UNICEF Official Ordered To Leave Sri Lanka; South Africa Child Health Campaign; Rwanda Development; Southern Sudan At Risk For Epidemics; U.S. Training In Pakistan

Nearly 600,000 West Africans Affected By Flooding, U.N. Says The U.N. on Monday “sharply increased its toll of the number of people affected by floods in West Africa, putting the number at more than 592,000 in no less than 10 countries,” Agence France-Presse reports. Yvon Edoumou, a spokesperson for the…

NGOs Call For Increased International Support For Women’s Health

Hundreds of non-governmental organizations from around the world gathered for a three-day conference in Berlin last week, where they emphasized the need for broader international support for improving women’s health worldwide — “15 years after the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, where a similar group set goals to improve the sexual health and rights for women, particularly in the developing world,” the Associated Press reports.

African Health Ministers Adopt Resolutions To Improve Health As WHO Regional Meeting Closes

At the conclusion of the 59th session of the WHO Regional Committee for Africa, African health ministers agreed on four resolutions that aim to improve health on the continent, the Guardian reports. The regional committee adopted resolutions that deal with drug-resistance related to HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria; malaria elimination in Africa; and preparedness and response for the current swine flu pandemic. The fourth resolution deals with establishing high-quality institutions for disease surveillance, food and medicine regulation and other public health-related interventions, according to the Guardian.

Over 2,800 People Worldwide Have Died From H1N1, WHO Reports

The WHO on Friday announced the H1N1 (swine) flu virus has killed at least 2,837 people – the result of an continued increase in the number of H1N1 cases worldwide, not the virulence of the virus, Reuters reports. “There is no sense that the virus has mutated or changed in any sense,” WHO spokesperson Gregory Hartl said during a news conference (Nebehay/MacInnis, 9/4).

Media Examine Debate Over UNESCO International Sex Education Guidelines

The New York Times examines how “[a] set of proposed international sex education guidelines aimed at reducing H.I.V. infections among young people” and unplanned pregnancies, based on “more than 80 studies of sex education,” has received some criticism.