World Health Assembly to discuss pandemic influenza preparedness

19.5.2009 7.22
News item N5-56093

The World Health Organisation's (WHO) annual assembly convenes in Geneva on 18-22 May 2009. The assembly has been shortened in response to the influenza A(H1N1) situation and it will specifically focus on the current situation of influenza preparedness. Finland is represented in the assembly by the Minister of Health and Social Services Paula Risikko, who thanked in her address the WHO for its systematic efforts to prevent an influenza pandemic.

"We need concerted action in global epidemics like this, and the WHO is the right body to lead the way. Rapid information sharing has enabled prompt initiation of preventive measures, build-up of diagnostics and development of vaccines. Now we need to share the benefits of this and assist especially those member states, which need help in preparing for the pandemic", Minister Risikko stated.

The assembly also discusses primary health care and the report by the Commission on Social Determinants of Health with proposals concerning health determinants. In Finland we have incorporated similar issues in the National Action Plan to Reduce Health Inequalities and in the Policy Programme for Health Promotion.

Further information

Hannele Tanhua, Senior Officer, tel. +358 50 490 6893
Ministerial Adviser Taru Koiviso, tel.  +358 50 327 8352