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Mr. Simon Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps she is taking to ensure that more routes for humanitarian aid convoys into Afghanistan are opened up as soon as possible. 
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Clare Short: My Department is actively supporting the endeavours of the UN agenciesincluding the UN World Food Programme, the Red Cross and non-governmental organisations to deliver as much food as possible through existing land convoy routes into Afghanistan.
We are also encouraging the opening of new land convoy routes by backing the representations of international humanitarian agencies to the Governments of neighbouring countries, requesting that they open their borders to allow the transportation of vital relief supplies into Afghanistan. The funds that we are channelling through international aid agencies working in the region are being used to stockpile relief goods in neighbouring countries for assistance to Afghan refugees and for onward transportation into Afghanistan as conditions allow.
Mr. Simon Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much has been allocated since 11 September for humanitarian relief in Afghanistan; and how it has been distributed. 
Clare Short: We have set aside £40 million to respond to the current crisis affecting Afghanistan and neighbouring countries. About £22 million has already been allocated to agencies for their work in the region: approximately £14 million to UN agencies; £3 million to the Red Cross movement; and around £5 million to non-governmental organisations.
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) what assessment she has made of the impact of the bombing campaign on the delivery of humanitarian aid to Afghanistan; 
Clare Short: A temporary cessation in military action would not remove our difficulties in getting supplies into Afghanistan which have been difficult for a long time and were halted after September 11 before the military campaign began.
The UN has recently increased its delivery of food although this is still short of what is required to lay down sufficient stocks for the winter. The World Food Programme has reported delivery of 6,644 tonnes of food to Afghanistan in the first half of this month. We continue to work with WFP to increase the rate of delivery.
Alistair Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will ask the National Institute for Clinical Excellence to consider the use of methylprednisolone in the emergency treatment of spinal cord injuries; and if he will make a statement; 
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Mr. Hutton [holding answer 15 October 2001]: There has been a recent review of the evidence, in the journal Spinal Cord 2000, "High Dose methylprednisolone in the management of acute spinal cord injurya systematic review from a clinical perspective." Their conclusion was that,
Jacqui Smith: Remuneration paid to pharmacies is intended to cover the generality of the National Health Service pharmaceutical services they provide. The scope of these services is not restricted just to dispensing prescriptions and has changed over time. The total remuneration to be paid in any given year is distributed through a system of fees and allowances, some of which relate directly to the number (and type) of prescriptions dispensed, some of which do not. However, if the total remuneration paid to pharmacies in each year is divided by the number of dispensing fees paid, the result is as set out in the table.
|Year||Value in 199091 prices|
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Mr. Michael Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the different methods available for screening young people for the conditions constituting sudden death syndrome. 
Many of the deaths in this syndrome appear to be caused by cardiomyopathies. Our policy is that the relatives of a family with a known high risk of contracting this disease should receive regular cardiovascular examinations.
The United Kingdom National Screening Committee (NSC) advises Ministers, the devolved National Assemblies and the Scottish Parliament on all aspects of screening policy. The NSC does not currently recommend screening for cardiomyopathy but is keeping its position under review.
The Department is working closely with the medical profession and voluntary organisations with a view to producing clear clinical guidance, which will play a key role in raising awareness, and in improving the diagnosis and testing of people at risk.
|Obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy||454|
|Other hypertrophic cardiomyopathy||172|
A finished consultant episode is a period of in-patient care under one consultant within one healthcare provider. These figures do not represent the number of patients as a person may have more than one episode within the year.
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Jacqui Smith: The broad timetable for the strategy is set out in the NHS Plan, which was published in July 2000. The plan said that the Department would be implementing the strategy by 2004. The Department expects to publish a consultation paper in due course.
Mr. Hutton: Worcestershire health authority has a countywide strategy for substance misuse which has been agreed by all the relevant agencies. The health authority is leading on the following initiatives included in the action plan for March 2001 to April 2002:
To increase and improve existing needle exchange provision
To improve access to and provision of services for women, including pregnant women
To assess the treatment and care needs of ethnic minority groups to improve access to services
To further promote and encourage general practitioner liaison and shared care
Working with community pharmacies and the local pharmaceutical committee to pilot supervised methadone consumption schemes in 23 local pharmacies, and review the results.
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