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WHO Director-General Chan Cites Disease Control Policy Failures, ‘Manmade Disasters’ As Challenges To Human Health In WHA Speech

Agence France-Presse: Zika crisis fueled by ‘massive policy failure’: WHO chief
“The spiraling crisis surrounding the Zika virus is due to decades of policy failures on mosquito control and poor access to family planning services, the World Health Organization said Monday. ‘The spread of Zika … (is) the price being paid for a massive policy failure that dropped the ball on mosquito control in the 1970s,’ WHO chief Margaret Chan told the opening of the U.N. health agency’s annual assembly…” (5/23).

CNN: WHO boss: Zika result of ‘massive’ mosquito control failures
“…Chan also said that family planning and sex education failures illustrated an ‘extreme consequence’ of the disease, as causal links between the mosquito-borne virus and microcephaly, a condition which results in babies being born with severe brain abnormalities, become scientific consensus…” (McKirdy, 5/24).

Global Health NOW: Margaret Chan’s 3 Slo-Mo Disasters
“Three ‘slow-motion disasters’ are threatening recent global health gains, WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said Monday in her address to delegates attending the 69th World Health Assembly. Chan cited the threats posed by climate change, the failure of antimicrobials because of resistance, and the rise of noncommunicable diseases. ‘These are not natural disasters. They are manmade disasters created by policies that place economic interests above concerns about the well-being of human lives and the planet that sustains them,’ Chan said…” (Simpson, 5/23).

Inter Press Service: Economic Interests Harming Global Health: WHO Chief
“…During her speech Chan also acknowledged the world’s many recent public health successes, however overall she argued that advances in health services and systems could not keep up with the global changes which mean health threats are increasingly traversing borders…” (Rowlands, 5/24).

NPR: WHO’s Stern Warning: The World ‘Is Not Prepared To Cope’ With Pandemics
“…[Chan] said the world must take action to prepare for outbreaks of diseases that haven’t even been discovered yet. She also spoke of a new program for WHO representing ‘a fundamental change’ by adding to its agenda the capacity ‘needed to respond to outbreaks and humanitarian emergencies’…” (Beaubien, 5/23).

U.N. News Centre: U.N. health agency spotlights role of health in sustainable development as governing body begins session
“Health holds a prominent and central role that benefits the entire sustainable development agenda, because the ultimate objective of all development activities is to sustain human lives in good health, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said [Monday], calling for greater efforts to combat the major challenges of antimicrobial resistance, the world drug problem, and the high costs of non-communicable diseases on the road to strengthening health systems…” (5/23).

VOA News: World Unprepared To Cope With Emerging Infectious Diseases
“…World Health Organization chief Margaret Chan told a gathering of health ministers and providers that countries could no longer work in isolation to contain infectious diseases and overcome other health threats…” (Schlein, 5/23).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.