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Clare Short: Partnerships with developing countries committed to poverty reduction form the cornerstone of our efforts to eliminate poverty. DFID is working with others to help partner country governments draw up nationally owned and led poverty reduction strategies. These strategies provide a framework for international efforts to help tackle poverty and for DFID's work in the majority of our major partner countries.
Clare Short: The fund is designed to make available drugs and commodities for the prevention and treatment of Malaria, TB and HIV/AIDS, in the poorest countries. We believe a purchasing fund will increase reliability of supply, reduce prices and encourage research leading to the production of new treatments. It will also help leverage the development of better delivery systems so that poor people get access to available drugs.
Yvette Cooper: In line with departmental recommendations, Barnet and Chase Farm hospitals NHS trust has an infection control policy that covers the situations in which it is necessary for patients to be nursed in isolation. This includes patients who are thought likely to have the more infectious forms of tuberculosis.
Patients are placed in their own room and are asked not to leave the room unnecessarily and not to have contact with other patients. Staff entering the room wear disposable gowns and gloves to prevent the spread of infection.
A long-term patient at Barnet hospital was recently found, following a routine test, to have contracted TB. It is possible that the TB had been dormant in the patient for some time. The patient was immediately put in a side room. Once it became apparent that the patient had contracted TB, 23 patients were recalled for testing. None of them has contracted the disease. However, 10 higher risk individuals are having follow-up tests as a precautionary measure. The trust is managing this incident in liaison with the communicable disease surveillance centre.
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chronic fatigue syndrome have (a) outreach/mobile units for severe housebound/bedbound sufferers and (b) in- patient ward facilities; and what the average size of such units and facilities is; 
The national health service provides a considerable number of services which people who have chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) can access. These patients are seen within a wide range of hospital specialties including general medicine, neurology and immunology. The CFS/ME working group is developing guidance to improve the quality of care for CFS/ME patients.
Mrs. Brinton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many myalgic encephalitis/chronic fatigue syndrome sufferers there are in (a) Cambridgeshire, (b) Lincolnshire and (c) Northamptonshire; 
Yvette Cooper: We do not collect information centrally on the incidence of individual diseases. It is estimated however, that up to one or two people in every thousand may have the illness, with numbers peaking in the 2040 age group.
The National Health Service provides a considerable number of services which people suffering from CFS/ME access. These patients are seen within a wide range of hospital specialties including general medicine, neurology and immunology. The CFS/ME working group is developing guidance to improve the quality of care for CFS/ME patients.
Mrs. Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what recent representations he has received regarding the omission of health visitors from the draft Nursing and Midwifery Order 2001 under section 62(9) of the Health Act 1999; 
(3) if he will make a statement on the reasons for the omission of health visitors from the draft Nursing and Midwifery Order 2001 under section 62(9) of the Health Act 1999. 
Mr. Hutton: Consultation on the draft order ended on 1 July. A wide range of organisations and individuals have commented on various aspects of the draft order. We will give careful consideration to all comments received before finally putting forward legislation for parliamentary approval.
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Health visitors will continue to be regulated as part of the nursing and midwifery professions but with the capacity to recognise their special contribution to public health. The draft legislation contains several safeguards for health visiting. Health visitors will have a separate register, protection of their professional title and be guaranteed equal representation on the council with nurses and midwives, and from each United Kingdom country.
The proposals make it clear that it will be for the new Nursing and Midwifery Council to decide what details appear on the register. The new council will have a duty to have proper regard to the interests of all registrants and prospective registrants, and will be required to consult on its plans beforehand.
Mr. Fabian Hamilton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to ensure the labelling of processed food products includes the mention of genetically modified organisms where they are used. 
Yvette Cooper [holding answer 28 June 2001]: The Genetically Modified Novel Foods (labelling) Regulations 2000 require foods containing genetically modified (GM) material (DNA or protein) to be labelled. The European Commission is expected to issue proposals shortly to extend the current labelling rules to require all ingredients derived from genetically modified organisms whether or not they contain GM material. The United Kingdom will seek to ensure that any new rules are practical, proportionate and enforceable.
Yvette Cooper: The Department is discussing with the Public Health Laboratory Service what suitable research in this area may be possible. The United States Centers for Disease Control have conducted two studies which have not demonstrated a causal association between autism and thiomersal (the amount of thiomersal in vaccines used in the UK childhood immunisation programme is considerably less than that used in the United States programme). A full joint statement by the
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American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Advisory Committee on Immunisation Practices and the US Public Health Services is available on the world wide web at http:// www.cdc.gov/nip/vacsafe/concerns/thimerosal/jointstatement00.htm.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, the Department of Health's statutory independent advisory committee, has reviewed the available evidence and has concluded that the present evidence did not support a link between thiomersal in vaccines and autism. They also concluded that there was substantial evidence that the measles, mumps and rubella vaccinewhich is a live attenuated vaccine and therefore has never contained thiomersalis not a factor, but the cause of autism remains unknown. The Department has asked the Medical Research Council to review current knowledge about autism and to suggest possible areas for further research development so that a cause may be found.
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