WHO condemns Israel's aggression, violation of international law
Isfahan,Iran Sept 13 (IRNA) The 53rd Session of WHO's Regional Committee (RC) for Eastern Mediterranean concluded in Isfahan on Tuesday with a strong condemnation of Israel for its continued and recent aggression against Lebanon and the occupied Palestinian territory and for its repeated violations of international law, including the illegal use of cluster bombs and international humanitarian law.
The committee further condemned Israel for not upholding its responsibility as an occupying force to ensure provision of health services to the people in the occupied territory.
It requested the Director General and the Regional Director for World Health Organization to submit a fact-finding report on the health consequences of the recent Israeli aggression on Lebanon and the occupied Palestinian territories.
With regard to the regional strategy on preparedness and response for Human pandemic influenza, the committee recognized the significant impact of the current outbreaks of avian influenza, and the potential gravity of the anticipated human pandemic influenza; and also recognized that the broadened purpose and scope of the International Health Regulations (2005) as a step towards protection of the international community against the potentially devastating consequences of influenza pandemic.
Hence the committee endorsed the WHO Eastern Mediterranean strategic plan for avian influenza and human pandemic influenza.
The RC deliberated on several issues of importance to the countries and adopted resolutions on subjects of regional priority, including the following:
Consumption of Alcohol in the region
The regional committee showed concern at the growing number of reports from member states referring to alarming signs of a hidden epidemic in pockets of the young population in the region with regard to hazardous consumption of alcohol.
It urges member states to promote the conduct, in collaboration with WHO, nongovernmental organizations, medical colleges and other academic institutions already working in this area, of well designed research and case studies to determine the magnitude, pattern and trend of alcohol consumption in the region, and the impact for specific disease conditions and population groups.
The regional director was requested to support member states in formulating or reformulating their national drug abuse policies to include alcohol-related problems; and to advocate with member states in favor of greater transparency regarding alcohol and other drug-related problems.
The regional committee also encourages and supports the development of vaccines and antiviral medicines in the Eastern Mediterranean region.
Addressing regional strategy for knowledge management to support public health, the 53rd session of the regional committee expressed at the diversity and in some countries the knowledge gap and the lack of ability to translate knowledge into action; nevertheless, it recognized the efforts of some member states in developing strategies and policies for some aspects of knowledge management.
The committee endorsed the regional strategy for knowledge management to support public health, and urged member states to conduct a situation analysis of information and knowledge management institutions including publishers, libraries, information centers, information networks, health on the internet, information technology centers and media centers;
The role of government in health development
The regional committee acknowledged the importance of the role played by governments in health development and noted the dramatic changes and challenges facing the role of government in general and health development in particular; and the growing concerns over equity in access to quality health care, increasing vulnerability and limited coverage by social protection; hence, in order to secure access for the poor, vulnerable groups and rural and remote populations; and to pay particular interest to improving working conditions for professionals working full time in government facilities.