EU Health Commissioner To Discuss Bird Flu

The European Union commissioner for health and consumer pro­tection will visit Phnom Penh on Friday for a one-day visit to discuss avian influenza with top gov­ern­ment and international health officials.

The EU commissioner, Markos Kyprianou, who is on a tour of South­­east Asia, is scheduled to discuss bird flu with country representatives of the World Health Organ­i­za­tion and the UN Food and Agri­culture Organization as well as se­nior government officials.

“The EU recognizes that, no matter where it strikes, avian influenza is a global problem that calls for a co­ordinated global response,” said Ky­prianou in a news release issued Wednesday. “We will do everything we can to help the countries of Southeast Asia in this regard.”

In advance of Kyprianou’s visit, the European Commission an­nounc­ed on Monday that it had earmarked roughly $35 million to assist Asian countries in the battle against avian influenza, which has now killed more than 60 people in Southeast Asia since 2003, including four Cambodians.

Local health officials were not able to say how much of this aid would be allocated to Cambodia.

Sok Touch, director of the Min­is­try of Health’s communicable disease department, said there have been no cases of bird flu in hu­mans or animals in the country since an outbreak ended in April.

On Tuesday, during the first day of Kyprianou’s two-day visit to Viet­nam, that country confirmed its 42nd human death—the first positive case of H5N1 reported in Viet­nam since late July—due to bird flu and reported more outbreaks of the strain in fowl.

 

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