JIS News

Minister of Health, John Junor, is currently attending an international meeting on the avian flu (bird flu), by Ministers of Health, in Ottawa, Canada.
The two-day meeting entitled, ‘Global Pandemic Influenza Readiness’, got underway today (October 24), and Health Ministers and senior officials from approximately 30 developed and developing countries, together with representatives from international organizations, will discuss their state of readiness, should the bird flu become a pandemic.
Hosted by Canada’s Health Minister, Ujjal Dosanjh, the meeting will also look at “the co-ordination of international resources, animal and human health issues related to the avian flu, detection and response to an outbreak, improved surveillance, risk communication, development and supply of vaccines and antivirals”.
According to Minister Dosanjh, Canada hoped that by hosting this meeting it would stimulate governments and organizations around the world to accelerate planning and preparation for a likely pandemic threat. “Together with other nations, it is our intention to advance this issue as a global priority and to agree on key activities and issues that require worldwide collaboration and co-ordination,” he said.
Experts believe that the avian flu virus could spark a global pandemic and kill millions worldwide if it mutates into a form that can be easily spread between humans.
Accompanying Minister Junor are Dr. Linnette Peters from the Ministry of Health and Dr. Headley Edwards from the Ministry of Agriculture.