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Avian flu threat: New approach needed
Date:10/22/2008

As the first globally co-ordinated plan for the planet's gravest health threats is hatched by government ministers from around the world this weekend, a new report sets out a 10-point plan for this new, globalised approach to infectious diseases such as avian flu.

Ministers of health and agriculture will formulate a global plan to prepare for, and respond to, the threat of avian flu and other emerging infectious diseases at the International Ministerial Conference on Avian and Pandemic Influenza in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt (October 24-26). The plan - called the One World, One Health initiative - aims for an unprecedented integration of animal, human and ecosystem health issues to fight the threat of the avian flu virus, H5N1.

A new report by Professor Ian Scoones and Paul Forster of the ESRC STEPS Centre at the UK's Institute of Development Studies lays out 10 key recommendations for One World, One Health, based on analysis of lessons learned from the massive $2bn international response to the avian flu over the past five years, during which time 245 people have died.

According to the report - The International Response to Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza: Science, Policy and Politics - ministers need to rethink current ideas in order to achieve an effective, equitable and resilient international plan of response to emerging diseases.

The recommendations include rethinking disease surveillance, redefining health security, new responses to uncertainty and ignorance, emphasising access and equity as well as questions of organisational architecture and governance.

"The One World, One Health initiative is a radical departure from the conventional sectoral approaches to health. It is essential, but presents many challenges. We have identified 10 challenges for the way ahead, and urge ministers to rethink rather than repackage their measures. One World One Health needs to be more than 'old wine in new bottles'," said Prof
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Contact: Julia Day
j.day@ids.ac.uk
44-012-739-15671
Institute of Development Studies
Source:Eurekalert

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