asean health meet: Health ministers of 11 South East Asian countries met in Dhaka recently to discuss over ways to enhance cooperation to develop health care services in the region. Bangladeshi Prime Minister Khaleda Zia inaugurated the meeting and said that developing countries could benefit from technology transfers and the revision of patent laws to ensure cheap but high quality medicines. Partcipants, during the two-day meeting, discussed several issues of common interest including revised strategy for malaria control in the region, global fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria pandemic, influenza preparedness and response, recovery activities in countries affected by the earthquake and tsunami and regional commitment on strengthening public health work force in the countries. The meeting was followed by the WHO regional conference, which discussed its revised health strategies in member state countries.
AID SHIP to Jaffna: The Sri Lankan government has allowed private traders in the island's embattled Jaffna peninsula to import food directly from ports in south India and announced that the traders will be exempt from the normal formalities. The decision has been taken to ease the food shortage that the region is facing due to the ongoing war between the government troops and the Tamil rebels over the last fortnight. Meanwhile, two aid ships loaded with 3,800 tonnes of food have already left from Colombo to meet the demands before the supplies in Jaffna run out. At least 45,000 people in the peninsula have been displaced by the ongoing war.
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