Public Health Agency of Canada

Public Health Agency of Canada

July 02, 2009 14:30 ET

International Meeting Advances Global Response to H1N1

Canada continues to play a leadership role

CANCUN, QUINTANA ROO--(Marketwire - July 2, 2009) - Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq today met with counterparts from more than 20 countries and with officials from the World Health Organization and European Commission to further enhance the global response to H1N1.

The focus of the two day meeting, hosted by the Government of Mexico, is on lessons learned to date in addressing the H1N1 flu virus and on improving preparedness for the Fall flu season and beyond.

"Canada continues to make a significant contribution to the international response to the H1N1 flu virus," said Minister Aglukkaq. "Our planning efforts, operational implementation, communications with the public, and cutting edge science are being recognized and studied by numerous counties."

Participants discussed several H1N1 virus issues of global concern including vaccines, antivirals, public health measures, International Health Regulations and risk communications. Minister Aglukkaq addressed her counterparts in a ministerial meeting on lessons learned, speaking to the Canadian experience and chaired the ministerial meeting on risk communications.

Information shared at this meeting will be used to inform guidelines and recommendations being prepared by the World Health Organization. It will also inform a number of Canadian initiatives including the development of guidelines for vaccinations.

"Throughout this outbreak, countries have been transparent with each other and with the public," said Minister Aglukkaq. "The willingness to share information in order to control the acute phase of the outbreak was based on relationships that we have developed over several years of pandemic planning. Partnerships like the Global Health Security Initiative have paid off and put in place a strong foundation for the next phase of our response."

Minister Aglukkaq also used the opportunity to meet with U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services of the United States, Kathleen Sebelius. Their meeting focussed on Canada-U.S. collaboration on H1N1, opportunities for further collaboration with Mexico, planning for the fall flu season, and the current global medical isotope shortage.

Discussions around medical isotopes focussed on continued collaboration and cooperation between Canada and the U.S. to help lessen the impact of shortages in North America.

Bilateral discussions on H1N1 and the medical isotope shortage have also been scheduled with the European Union and Mexico.

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Contact Information

  • Office of Leona Aglukkaq
    Minister of Health
    Josee Bellemare
    Public Health Agency of Canada
    Media Relations