Colds and flu

16 September 2009

H1N1 to hit poor countries hardest

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.

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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)

Read more:
Swine flu spreads after fever stops

 

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Dr Heidi van Deventer completed her MBChB (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) degree in 2004 at the University of Stellenbosch.
She has additional training in ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) and PALS (Paediatric Advanced Life Support) as well as biostatistics and epidemiology.

Dr Van Deventer is currently working as a researcher at the Desmond Tutu Tuberculosis Centre at the University of Stellenbosch.

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