Swine flu will have a "devastating effect" on poor countries
where lives will be lost due to ill-equipped health care
facilities, the World Health Organisation warned.
"The pandemic will test the world on the issue of fairness in a substantial way," WHO chief Margaret Chan said in a speech in
Copenhagen where the body has its regional office for Europe.
She noted that swine flu, also known as the A(H1N1) virus, will
cause "manageable disruption" in affluent countries. But it will "almost certainly have a devastating impact in countries with few health facilities and staff, no regular supplies of essential medicines, little diagnostic and laboratory capacities, and vast populations with no access to safe water and sanitation," she said, calling it "a watershed event".
Chan said the pandemic was occurring at a time when differences in the level of health care around the world were "greater than at
any time in recent history".
At least 3 205 people have died of the disease since it was
uncovered in April, according to the organisation's latest tally. – (Sapa, September 2009)
Swine flu spreads after fever stops