Manila, Philippines, 21 August 2006 – The 57th session of the World Health Organization's Regional Committee for the Western Pacific, WHO's governing body in the Region, will take place in Auckland, New Zealand, from 18 to 22 September. The meeting will review WHO’s work over the past year and the direction the Organization needs to take to resolve health concerns, including averting an influenza pandemic set off by the H5N1 avian influenza circulating in the Region and elsewhere.
Dr Richard Nesbit, acting Regional Director for the Western Pacific, will report to the Regional Committee on WHO's work, including progress towards voluntary implementation of provisions of the International Health Regulations (IHR 2005) prior to their enforcement in 2007. The new regulations set out obligations for the notification, verification, assessment of and response to significant public health threats.
Other key issues to be tackled by the Regional Committee include a strategy to fight emerging infectious diseases, noncommunicable disease prevention and control, a regional approach to alcohol-related harm, prevention and control of tuberculosis, a plan for human resources for health, as well as programme updates on measles elimination, hepatitis B control and polio eradication, plus tobacco control, mental health and environmental health.
The Regional Committee, composed of health ministers or representatives of the Western Pacific Region's 37 countries and areas, meets once a year to review WHO's programmes and activities in the Region.
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