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Health minister urges international action to prevent pandemics

01.01.70

MOSCOW, April 28 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's health minister called Friday for the creation of international rapid-response units to combat pandemics that arise in the wake of natural disasters.

Mikhail Zurabov told a meeting with his G8 counterparts: "We need to learn to raise mobile units that could be useful in such circumstances."

Health ministers from the Group of Eight leading industrialized nations will Friday wrap up two days of meetings in Moscow with officials from the EU, World Health Organization, World Bank, and Unaids.

The talks come in the run-up to the G8's summer summit in St. Petersburg. Russia has declared the fight against infectious diseases a priority for its chairmanship of the group in 2006, along with education and energy security.

Zurabov said earthquakes, floods, tsunamis and other natural disasters had become more frequent in recent years, and said the idea of creating mobile response units should be included on the agenda of the summit, slated for July 15-17 in St. Petersburg.

Expert opinion

Halter Marek

02.12.06

Halter Marek
Le College de France
Olivier Giscard dEstaing

02.12.06

Olivier Giscard dEstaing
COPAM, France
Mika Ohbayashi

02.12.06

Mika Ohbayashi
Institute for Sustainable Energy Poliy
Bill Pace

02.12.06

Bill Pace
World Federalist Movement - Institute for Global Policy
Peter I. Hajnal

01.12.06

Peter I. Hajnal
Toronto University, G8 Research Group