Friday, 15 January 2010

Haiti Crisis

Already one of the poorest countries in the world, with unstable government and little social organisation, Haiti's devastation by the recent earthquake is a further blow. In 1993, the beginings of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) was established, to try and restore democracy and a functioning civil state. In 2009, the former US president Bill Clinton was appointed as the UN Secretary General's special envoy to Haiti, and has instigated health provision in the beleaguered country.

Has all this come too late to reverse the decades of exploitation, misguided interference and deliberate political intervention? With the world's attention now focussed on the plight of the Haitian people, perhaps there is some hope.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Crisis over?

Some news items are saying that the H1N1 Influenza A virus is no longer as large a threat as feared last summer. It is also being suggested that health officials over-reacted leaving vast stores of unused vaccine.
Introduction to pandemic influenza, which has just been catalogued, is an essential text with a strong emphasis on preparedness.
It aims to promote a better understanding of influenza and raises questions in each chapter. The book includes biomathematical modelling, epidemiology, policy issues and selected papers for further reading.
Following three global pandemics in the last 100 years and the recent avian and swine influenza outbreaks, preparedness should still be of vital importance.