Int'l meeting to be held on priorities for bird flu control
2005-10-26 22:15:09 Xinhua English

GENEVA, Oct. 26 (Xinhuanet) -- The World Health Organization (WHO) said Wednesday that a meeting entitled "The H5N1 Agenda: Towards a global strategy" will be held at its Geneva headquarters on Nov. 7-9 to set priorities for bird flu control in animals and human pandemic preparedness.

Since a series of country, regional and international meetings, field missions and conferences in recent weeks have clarified the H5N1 challenge in many parts of the world, WHO said the coming meeting will put those pieces into a global picture for a comprehensive assessment and will identify the next steps for the control of bird flu in animals and preparedness efforts for a human influenza pandemic.

The purpose of the meeting is to examine the two-pronged strategy of attempting to control bird flu at its source in animals, while simultaneously preparing for pandemic influenza, WHO said in a statement.

According to the United Nations agency, the meeting will produce an agenda for action. Progress, gaps and redundancies will be clarified and responsibilities assigned for assisting affected countries and countries at risk. The meeting will also identify and prioritize the technical and financial requirements for combating the H5N1 virus.

The meeting is co-organized by WHO, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)and the World Bank. Participants will include representatives from UN member states, NGOs and other stakeholders.

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