WHO Director-General visits Madagascar, Mauritius and Kenya
Dr LEE Jong-wook visited Madagascar, Mauritius and Kenya from 3–9 March 2006.
Each of the three countries has a different set of health challenges. Malnutrition, malaria, and neglected diseases such as leprosy and plague are important issues in Madagascar — an island nation of 18 million people. In Mauritius — a middle-income country with 1.2 million people — chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes are responsible for the vast majority of deaths. In Kenya, curbing infectious diseases including HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, and improving maternal health for its 34 million people are high on the health agenda.
Dr Lee stressed one common health challenge to leaders in all three countries — to quickly tackle the highly pathogenic avian influenza virus H5N1 should it infect their wild or domestic birds, and to prepare for a potential human influenza pandemic.