G8 health ministers discuss preparations for bird flu conference
GENEVA, May 22 (Itar-Tass) —— The health ministers of the G8 countries have discussed preparations for a conference on bird flu to be held in Vienna on June 7 and 8.
Russian Minister of Health and Social Development Mikhail Zurabov told Itar-Tass: “We should fulfil certain tasks. First of all, all countries should meet the financial commitments of the common action plan. The second task is preparations for a possible bird flu pandemic. And finally, it is necessary to verify the list of countries that need assistance from donor countries and a trust fund that is being set up.”
Zurabov said his counterparts from the G8 countries had paid special attention to such issues as “vaccine development and improvement of the transportation system for the biological materials necessary for the identification of the bird flu strain that has caused illness in a certain region.”
“A preliminary agreement was reached that a laboratory for strain identification will be equipped and will start operating at the research center of Virology and Biotechnology Vektor near Novosibirsk,” Zurabov said.
The minister is leading the Russian delegation to the 59th annual session of the World Health Organization that is currently underway in Geneva.