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”Our world is dangerously out of balance, and most especially so in matters of health. The current economic downturn will diminish wealth and health...Human society has always been characterized by inequities. History has long had its robber-barons and its Robin Hoods. The difference today is that these inequities, especially in access to health care, have become *so deadly*. We see just how much equity matters when crises arise. The world is facing multiple crises, on multiple fronts.”
“As we have seen, the financial crisis has been highly contagious, moving rapidly from one country to another, and from one sector of the economy to many others. The world is concerned about the prospect of an influenza pandemic, and rightly so. Much is in our hands. How we manage this situation can be an investment case for public health. The world will be watching, and one big question is certain to arise. Are the world’s public health services fit-for-purpose ? Of course not. And I think the consequences will be quickly, highly, and tragically visible. Will something finally be done?... The health sector cannot be blamed for lack of foresight. We have long known what is needed. An effective public health response depends on strong health systems that are inclusive, offering universal coverage right down to the community level."
To date, most outbreaks have occurred in countries with good detection and reporting capacities...thank the governments of these countries for the diligence of their surveillance, their transparency in reporting, their generosity in sharing information and viruses.
"most cases of severe and fatal infections with the H1N1 virus, outside the outbreak in Mexico, are occurring in people with underlying chronic conditions. In recent years, the burden of chronic diseases has increased dramatically, and shifted dramatically, from rich countries to poorer ones. Today, around 85% of the burden of chronic diseases is concentrated in low- and middle-income countries. The implications are obvious. The developing world has, by far, the largest pool of of people at risk for severe and fatal H1N1 infections."