Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Earth Science News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

WHO probe grapples with differing views on flu pandemic

by Staff Writers
Geneva (AFP) July 2, 2010
The head of a World Health Organisation probe into the international handling of the swine flu pandemic said Friday that it was proving to be difficult to get a coherent view of what happened.

"The challenge is to believe what is true without getting distracted by the vast diversity of opinions," said Harvey Fineberg, chairman of the review committee of external experts formed in April.

The panel concluded its second three day public hearing on Friday after hearing from national health officials, representatives of the pharmaceutical industry and the media.

"One of the major conclusions is the perception of what happened is radically different from each point of view," he told journalists afterwards.

Fineberg noted that views ranged from those who were supportive of the UN health agency's actions to the outright critical.

At its first hearing in April, the probe quizzed WHO officials and outside health specialists sitting on some of the key panels that advised the agency about issues such as vaccines and the degree of public health alerts.

European parliamentarians last week found "grave shortcomings" in WHO transparency and expressed concerns about the influence of the pharmaceutical industry on decision making, especially the need for costly special vaccines.

The Council of Europe parliamentary assembly said following an inquiry there was "overwhelming evidence that the seriousness of the pandemic was vastly overrated by WHO".

During this week's WHO hearing, French health ministry official Didier Houssin praised the agency's "reactiveness" while suggesting that it should reinforce the credibility of its experts.

British Medical Journal editor Fiona Godlee by contrast reiterated a call for greater transparency.

She said that the WHO should reveal the names of the members of the emergency committee of disease experts advising the agency's chief Margaret Chan about the degree of danger that A (H1N1) flu represents.

A BMJ report raised concerns about potential conflicts of interest for some scientists who advised the WHO on influenza, because of separate financing for laboratory research by the pharmaceutical industry.

Fineberg, who heads of the Institute of Medicine of the US National Academy of Sciences, said the now 27 strong committee of health specialists and officials has scheduled another public hearing in September, as well as November.

The panel's findings are due to be released by the beginning of 2011.

Share This Article With Planet Earth DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook

Related Links
Epidemics on Earth - Bird Flu, HIV/AIDS, Ebola

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Hong Kong study promises new swine flu treatment
Hong Kong (AFP) July 1, 2010
Hong Kong researchers have discovered a new way to treat patients suffering from swine flu, a report said Thursday, after the deadly virus killed more than 18,000 people worldwide in the past year. A joint study by the University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Red Cross and the city's Hospital Authority has proven that plasma antibodies taken from recovered swine flu patients are an effective trea ... read more

Reading sessions help Haiti children through quake trauma

China mudslide toll at 42, with 57 missing: report

Storm delays deployment of Gulf containment vessel: official

Polls in quake-hit Haiti set for November

Apple to issue patch for iPhone 4 antenna woes

Apple hit with lawsuit over iPhone 4 antenna woes

New Multi-Year LTA With EADS Astrium To Power All GEO Satellites

Google News revamped to get more personal

Oil spills boost arsenic levels in ocean: study

Whiter Clouds Could Mean Wetter Land

Asia in the grip of water crisis: Asian Development Bank

Britain had driest start to year since 1929: forecasters

China sets sail for the Arctic

Answer To What Ended The Last Ice Age May Be Blowing In The Winds

New Light On Antarctica's Melting Pine Island Glacier

Antarctic ice melt: 10 percent of sea rise

Mercosur-EU talks at risk after food row

'Balanced' Ecosystems Seen In Organic Ag Better At Controlling Pests

AgBank draws 30 billion yuan from key investors: media

Institutions snap up China AgBank subscriptions

Weakened Alex leaves seven dead in northeast Mexico

Romania flood death toll climbs to 25: official

Romania flood death toll climbs to 24: official

Hurricane Alex churns across northeast Mexico

U.N. pullback likely to worsen Congo wars

Foreign agents in shooting of Rwandan general: S.Africa

G.Bissau army chief installed despite international protest

U.S. military contractors eye Africa

China To Hit 1.4 Billion As Medvedev Fears Falling Population In Russia's East

Genetic markers can predict longevity

Man-Made Global Warming Started With Ancient Hunters

If We Build 'Walkable' Neighborhoods, Will People Walk

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement