MANILA, Sept. 8 (Xinhuanet) -- World Health Organization (WHO)
Director-General Lee Jong-wook called here Monday for enhanced surveillance to
deal with a possible recurrence of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
"We have to prepare on the assumption that this (SARS) will come back," Lee
said in a speech at the opening of the 54th session of the WHO regional
committee for the Western Pacific.
"Together, we won this battle," he said, but quickly adding that no one can
predict what will happen later this year.
"Our challenge now is to enhance surveillance networks that will detect and
deal with SARS if it does come back," said Dr. Leeof South Korea.
The Western Pacific region, hardest hit by the world's newest disease, had
been "tested to the full," he said. "We had to work to understand what was
causing it at the same time as we struggledto treat those most directly
The dreaded SARS has infected more than 8,000 people and claimed over 900
lives worldwide, mostly in East Asia.
During the five-day meeting, delegates from 37 members in the region are
expected to discuss policies, programs and directions for the future on a host
of health concerns, including HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, SARS, child health, and
The meeting is also expected to devise a regional
strategy for improving access to essential medicines in the region in the next
five years. Enditem