Top 38 Margaret Chan Quotes

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“Tobacco is the only industry that produces products to make huge profits and at the same time damage the health and kill their consumers.”

― Margaret Chan

“Pandemic influenza is by nature an international issue; it requires an international solution.”

― Margaret Chan

“For the first time in history we can track the evolution of a pandemic in real time. Influenza viruses are notorious for their rapid mutation and unpredictable behaviour.”

― Margaret Chan

“After all it really is all of humanity that is under threat during a pandemic.”

― Margaret Chan

“All countries should immediately now activate their pandemic preparedness plans. Countries should remain on high alert for unusual outbreaks of influenza-like illness and severe pneumonia.”

― Margaret Chan

“Some experts say we are moving back to the pre-antibiotic era. No. This will be a post-antibiotic era. In terms of new replacement antibiotics, the pipeline is virtually dry. A post-antibiotic era means, in effect, an end to modern medicine as we know it. Things as common as strep throat or a child’s scratched knee could once again kill.”

― Margaret Chan

“New and emerging infections keep coming back and the world needs a collective defense system, and that requires international cooperation and collaboration, in the name of global solidarity.”

― Margaret Chan

“The international community should treat this as a window of opportunity to ramp up preparedness and response.”

― Margaret Chan

“A health system that lacks commodities for managing high-mortality infectious diseases and the main killers of mothers and young children will not have an adequate impact. By the same token, even the best-stocked delivery system will have an inadequate impact if it fails to reach the poor.”

― Margaret Chan

“All experts on WHO advisory groups for developing norms, standards and guidelines are required to disclose interests regarding the advisory committee’s area of work. If a declared interest is potentially significant, then the expert is either excluded from the meeting or given a restricted role.”

― Margaret Chan

“We need to empower women. Give women a voice in the decision-making process. Give women a political voice where they can champion, for their own welfare. And, of course, for us. United Nations – organizations, agencies – we need to do our part.”

― Margaret Chan

“The unique nature about the influenza virus is its great potential for changes, for mutation.”

― Margaret Chan

“Influenza pandemics must be taken seriously, precisely because of their capacity to spread rapidly to every country in the world.”

― Margaret Chan

“Based on assessment of all available information and following several expert consultations, I have decided to raise the current level of influenza pandemic alert from phase 4 to phase 5.”

― Margaret Chan

“This change to a higher phase of alert is a signal to governments, to ministries of health and other ministries, to the pharmaceutical industry and the business community that certain actions now should be undertaken with increased urgency and at an accelerated pace.”

― Margaret Chan

“Antimicrobial resistance is on the rise in Europe and elsewhere in the world. We are losing our first-line antimicrobials. Replacement treatments are more costly, more toxic, need much longer durations of treatment, and may require treatment in intensive care units.”

― Margaret Chan

“The International Health Partnership Plus is addressing the need to harmonize development assistance and reduce the current waste, duplication, and high transaction costs.”

― Margaret Chan

“The Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, and the related Accra Agenda for Action, are useful policy instruments that set out the mutual responsibilities of donors and recipient countries.”

― Margaret Chan

“WHO has a country office in nearly every developing country, usually located close to the Ministry of Health. Staff in these offices need to do much more to help ministries of health strengthen their national health plans and strategies and then negotiate with development partners to support these priorities and follow these plans.”

― Margaret Chan

“What amazes me most is that the media and I have fostered a close relationship.”

― Margaret Chan

“New diseases like SARS and bird flu cause anxiety in the community. People get worried, some to the extent that it even affects their health. You feel very sad, and yet you must carry on and maintain your cool in very trying and difficult moments. You have to tough it out.”

― Margaret Chan

“We cannot think of the old days when we were dealing with SARS. It’s a totally different ballgame now.”

― Margaret Chan

“For a pandemic of moderate severity, this is one of our greatest challenges: helping people to understand when they do not need to worry, and when they do need to seek urgent care.”

― Margaret Chan

“Mexico is a safe, as well as a beautiful and warmly gracious, place to visit.”

― Margaret Chan

“The World Health Organization did a world health report in 2006. In the whole world about 60 countries are in dire situation in terms of having enough doctors. And many of these countries are in Sub-Saharan Africa. You know, that part of the world alone needs one million doctors.”

― Margaret Chan

“If the country has invested in the training of doctors or nurses or midwives for that matter, people are beginning to say, ‘Should we not ask them to serve a number of years in the country who invested in their training?’ I think this is now coming to be an interesting discussion.”

― Margaret Chan

“The way I look at – speaking as a woman – I understand what it means to be a daughter, and to be a wife, and to be a mother, and also to be a career woman. The multiple roles that women can play in a society if given the opportunity is really a tremendous asset.”

― Margaret Chan

“At a time of multiple calamities in the world, we cannot allow the loss of essential antimicrobials, essential cures for many millions of people, to become the next global crisis.”

― Margaret Chan

“I have a reputation for being a straight-talker.”

― Margaret Chan

“HIV AIDS is a disease with stigma. And we have learned with experience, not just with HIV AIDS but with other diseases, countries for many reasons are sometimes hesitant to admit they have a problem.”

― Margaret Chan

“Doctors and nurses, with their training and their experiences, they would be able to detect unusual patterns of disease. That’s why we say it is important for every country to have a proper surveillance system. The function of the surveillance system is to detect unusual patterns of diseases.”

― Margaret Chan

“I think U.N. organizations are important organizations. They exist for good reasons. And we also admit that there is room for us to improve the way we do business. The WHO will be a very positive and proactive partner in the overall U.N. reform, which is also important.”

― Margaret Chan

“I want us to be judged by the impact we have on the health of the people of Africa and the health of women. Improvements in the health of the people of Africa and the health of women are key indicators of the performance of WHO. This is a health organization for the whole world… But we must focus our attention on the people in greatest need.”

― Margaret Chan

“When WHO works with the private sector, the Organization takes all possible measures to ensure its work to develop policy and guidelines is protected from industry influence.”

― Margaret Chan

“The WHO is the lead agency in health in the United Nations system, and clearly we have very important functions to play.”

― Margaret Chan

“SARS was a very important event… And many countries have learned from SARS… The SARS event sort of gave them additional impetus and the sense of urgency for them to really revise the International Health Regulations.”

― Margaret Chan

“When you’re dealing with new and emerging diseases, you have no idea and you can’t predict in advance what would happen.”

― Margaret Chan

“Many diseases including malaria, dengue, meningitis – just a few examples – these are what we call climate-sensitive diseases, because such climate dimensions for rainfall, humidity and temperature would influence the epidemics, the outbreaks, either directly influencing the parasites or the mosquitoes that carry them.”

― Margaret Chan
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