Highlights from the High-Level Cancun Meeting
High-level officials including health ministers from Mexico, the United States, Canada, and 40 other countries discussed pandemic preparedness and lessons learned from the 2009 Influenza pandemic at a summit hosted by Mexican President Felipe Calderon in Cancun July 2-3. They were joined by WHO Director-General Margaret Chan, PAHO Director Dr. Mirta Roses, and influenza experts from key organizations to discuss what health officials have learned so far from the outbreak, and how countries can best handle cases. Vaccine and antiviral availability was a top agenda item, and U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced a donation of 420,000 treatments of antiviral medication to the Pan American Health Organization. Discussions also focused on human and animal influenza virus surveillance, border and airport measures, clinical aspects of the infections, hospital response and surge capacity, antiviral treatment and prophylaxis, vaccines, personal protective measures and social measures. Speakers also discussed the role of the International Health Regulations and action points in pandemic planning and response.
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All photos by Harold Ruiz (PAHO/WHO)