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Backing to tackle world health challenges

Tuesday May 19th, 2015

The world's richest countries are to support the World Health Organisation to tackle drug-resistant organisms and new tropical diseases, it was announced yesterday.

WHO plans to set up a 100 million dollar emergency fund to ensure it is ready for any new outbreaks such as the Ebola crisis that devastated west Africa.

It was offered backing by one of the world's most powerful leaders at the World Health Assembly yesterday.

Chancellor Angela Merkel, of Germany, is currently the president of the G7 group of wealthy nations.

Speaking to delegates Chancellor Merkel called for new plans to deal with "catastrophes" such as the Ebola outbreak.

She said the G7 would focus on antimicrobial resistance and neglected tropical diseases.

WHO director general Dr Margaret Chan warned of the "spectre of a post-antibiotic era in which common infections will once again kill."

Speaking of the new emergency response programme, she said: "I am making some fundamental changes to enable WHO to do this job well. I am creating a single new programme for health emergencies, uniting all our outbreak and emergency resources across the three levels of the Organisation.

"The new programme is designed for speed, flexibility, and rapid impact. It reports directly to me, and I am accountable to you."

Tags: Europe | Flu & Viruses | Pharmaceuticals | World Health

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