• Short Summary

    A statement is expected soon on South Africa's future relations with the 125-nations World Health Organisation.

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    A statement is expected soon on South Africa's future relations with the 125-nations World Health Organisation. At the moment, she is still officially a member, but deprived of her voting rights and threatened with suspension or expulsion altogether.

    Last week, in Geneva, moves by other African countries, with Asian backing, succeeded in recommending that the world organisation's charter be amended to allow for the suspension or expulsion of a country practising racial discrimination. Following the vote, South Africa's delegation walked out.

    Now, in Capetown, Government leaders are looking into the possibility of withdrawing altogether. Reports say it is "almost inevitable" South Africa will resign.

    However, despite their anti-African sentiment, Afro-Asian countries will continue to look to South Africa for vaccines against a host of African diseases. For many infections, South Africa is the only supplier of drugs to fight them, as well as being a major producer for others.

    Centre of South Africa's fight against disease is the Poliomyelitis Research Foundation headquarters at Rietfontein, near Johannesburg. From here shipments go out each week to countries which voted against South Africa at last week's meeting in Geneva.

    India was one of these countries, yet the following day she sent an urgent plea to Rietfontein for a supply of a rare strain of smallpox vaccine. The request was met immediately.

    Two-million doses of various vaccines are exported each year. Major customers come from all over Africa, the Middle East and other parts of Asia. Despite last week's vote, South Africa says she has no intention of banning vaccine exports to these countries. "We will go supplying them for as long as they want them," said one South African official.

    Film includes shots of the various stages of producing yellow fever vaccine.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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    Available on request
    Black & White
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