Quarterly World Health Organization by alicejenny


									JULY-SEPTEMBER 2009                                                                                             QNT 77

                                                                       Q ua rte rl y

  from the Association of Former WHO Staff Tel :+4122 791 31 03 and 31 92
      Office 4141, WHO, CH- 1211 Geneva, Switzerland E-mail: aoms@who.int Website: http://www.who.int/formerstaff/en/

                               Here is the Enemy (Virus H1N1)

Association of Former WHO Staff                                                                                    Page 1
JULY-SEPTEMBER 2009                                                    QNT 77

                             General Assembly
                 Agenda 29 October 2009, 1330 hr
                                   Salle C (5th floor)

1. Opening
2. Election of Chairman and Polling Officers
3. Adoption of agenda
4. Information seminar on Pensions
    Alan Blythe, Chief of the Geneva office of UNJSPF,
   Roger Eggleston, Chairman of AAFI and representative of FAFICS to
   Pension Board, Claude Hennetier, Chief, Pensions and insurance,
   Beatriz Sperandio de Llull, Secretary of WHO Pension Committee, along
   with others will be present to report on pensions and the last Pension
   Board meeting in July 2009 and answer questions.
5. Staff Health Insurance
   Information will be given on the current status of SHI and possible future
   developments including retirement homes and long term care; Claude
   Hennetier and Samantha Bell-Shiers, Chief, SHI, will be present.
                        Around 15h: Coffee Break
6. President's report
7. Financial report and auditors report
8. Publications e.g. QNT
9. Other items
      WHO programme on ageing
      Geneva; Cité seniors
      “Université du 3e âge”
      Misc

10. Closure

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CONTENTS                                          EDITORIAL

Agenda General Assembly                      2
                                                      n QNT 76 there was a questionnaire relative to
Editorial                          opposite

President’s column                           4
                                                      your perception of our publication. The first re-
FAFICS’     session                          5        sults are as follows:
Our health                                 6,7

Share your experiences;               8,9,10
                                                  We actually received 58 replies, all instructive, all
Interview Verstuyft;                        11    positive, with certain differences and suggestions.
New members ;
On the lighter side                               Details will be given in the next issue.
Change of addresses,etc.                    12
                                                  As the closing date was 31 August, it is possible that
Operation cleaning up in                    13
Geneva’s parks                                    some of you did not have time to reply. We willingly
In memoriam                           14, 15
                                                  wait for other replies so as to have a larger sample.
Readers’ Corner                       16, 17

Trip to Croatia                       18, 19      You can, therefore, send your comments until the
Joining AFSM                                20    end of this quarter.
       Editorial Team                             The preoccupation of the moment is the Influenza
  Editing & layout: David Cohen                   A-H1N1 pandemic. We will try to keep you up to
      Editorial Board :
                                                  date on developments.
     Yves Beigbeder,
      Averil Foster,                              Vaccination against seasonal flu:
 Jean-Jacques Guilbert,
    Samy Kossovsky,                               This year we shall not be able to offer you our usual
    Jean-Paul Menu,
Dev Ray, Rosemary Villars.
                                                  vaccination sessions against seasonal flu in the WHO
    Translation, articles:                        building (see page 7 for an explanation). A circular
                                                  letter is being mailed to you.
   all the editorial board.
Many thanks to Averil Foster
     and J-P Menu for
        proofreading.                             We are making a new appeal for you to send us your
                                                  e-mail addresses so that we may communicate with
   We pay special tribute
to the Printing, Distribution,                    you by this means which would be much simpler for
    and Mailing Services.                         us and ecologically more friendly.
 The opinions expressed                           Those of you, however, who do not have an elec-
 in this newsletter are                           tronic address, will continue to receive circulars by
  those of the authors
  and not necessarily
                                                  ordinary mail.
   those of the editor
                                                  Best wishes to you all.                          D.C.
   or editorial board.
 Send your contributions
     David Cohen:

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JULY-SEPTEMBER 2009                                                                           QNT 77

                                      President’s column

                               Should retirees continue to work?
Retirement comes relatively suddenly although we know exactly when it is supposed to arrive. We
continue with our jobs – if we are reasonably happy – as if it will continue for ever. If one is unhap-
py with one’s job, it is probably natural to look forward to the day of retirement. But otherwise, files
are not arranged, books not put in boxes and computer files are not destroyed until we suddenly

find that the day has come and gone. We then seek a few more days to clear up the office.
    n many countries now –          she retired and continued            widely reported conclusion
    like the USA – there is         happily, and for many                that second level health
    no retirement age and           years, with work in WHO              workers should be trained
perhaps that is how it              and UNAIDS. The second               to provide care in many
should be. After all we             problem is a feeling, some-          countries where there is a
should work until we feel           times justified, on the part         shortage of medical doc-
either we don’t want to or          of younger staff that they           tors – a fact which had
cannot. With lengthening            should be able to move on            been promoted by WHO for
life expectancies, and be-          from the past.                       the past fifty years but not
ing fitter than our parents at      Some of us try to involve            well-known to the authors
the same age, it is natural         ourselves in some pro-               of the new study.
that we should be allowed           gramme matters – with no             Obviously, any rapproche-
to continue to work longer.         remuneration. But it is a            ment between the current
Also it would be beneficial         thin line. The upper levels          programme staff and reti-
to the pension fund. How-           of management receive                rees can only be achieved
ever, when the well-defined         tens of letters from old             on a case by case basis –
retirement age sneaks up,           “friends” pleading for a             when there is a genuine
we have a feeling that              consultancy or a temporary           welcoming of inputs but
some of our experiences             job – sometimes because              little fear of being bogged
and knowledge ought to be           they have financial com-             down in the past. Will it ev-
used by the Organization.           mitments and at other                er happen? I still remember
There are two major prob-           times because it is a “legi-         I was invited to a celebra-
lems with it. First, there is a     timate” expectation. Such            tion during World Health
group of serving staff, and         letters and pleadings do us          Assembly for infant feeding
sometimes the staff asso-           retirees a lot of harm when          resolutions since I was in
ciations, who are adamant-          we are seen as opportunis-           the Secretariat of the com-
ly against retirees continu-        tic.                                 mittee which adopted the
ing to work. But some of            The other concern –                  first resolution on the sub-
the most vociferous oppo-           whether contribution by              ject. But, I was invited only
nents of retirees at work           retirees tend to prolong the         as a mute observer when
are often those who con-            past and prevent a fresh             current programme man-
tinue after their own retire-       look at a problem – often            gers dwelt on the past and
ment. WHO HQ had a lady             hides cases of new study             present of the resolutions
who screamed in each                groups coming up with                while ignoring their true
Staff Association meeting           “earth-shattering” insights          genesis. At the least, we
against so-called “double-          which were well-known for            retirees can contribute a
dipping” or retirees taking         a half century. For in-              historical perspective on
jobs away from younger              stance, the recent World             many issues.
people. But she forgot all          Health Report on health                                     Dev Ray
 her passion as soon as             workers came up with the

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      FAFICS Council Session in Vienna July 2009: a brief account

The 38th session of the council of FAFICS met in Vienna 7 to 10 July this year. For those who are not fully aware, FAF-
ICS is the Federation of Associations of Former International Civil Servants and was established in 1975 with four Asso-
ciations. It has now grown to 42 associations – some quite large with more than 3800 members (Geneva AAFI-AFICS) to
some with as few as 25 members (the minimum number required for membership of the association in FAFICS). Twenty-

two of the associations were represented in Vienna with 8 providing proxies.
          he Federation has a Pres-            on defined benefits plan, especial-            There was some discussion on
          ident, six Vice-Presidents,          ly as defined by the final pension-            taxation of UN pensions and the
          a Secretary and a Trea-              able remunerations, has not been               next steps to be taken to try to
surer. The President sets the tone             sufficiently clarified as opposed to           reduce the taxation rates since the
of the Federation for a year and               defined contributions plan1. FAF-              retirees have contributed one-third
used to preside over the annual                ICS will be solidly represented in             of the contributions on which they
Council sessions. The rules have               the Working Group on Plan Design               already have paid taxes through
been recently modified to allow the            – a working group set up to con-               the mechanism of staff assess-
election of a Presiding Officer for a          sider the future of the pension                ment. No meaningful policy stand
session – a change which was                   system including the desirability of           can be discerned on this important
sorely needed. Currently the Pres-             increasing the retirement age. The             issue.
ident of the Federation is Andrés              current annual meeting with the                There were some hiccups in the
Castellanos of the AAFI, New                   CEO of the Pension Fund was a                  election of Vice- Presidents since
York. Apart from ensuring a re-                non-event in that it was dominated             Paris association had proposed a
gional distribution of office holders,         by prepared statements and sterile             candidate who was later with-
it is not clear what all the six Vice-         discussions.         The        current        drawn. On an informal note, it was
Presidents do. As is the custom in             CEO/Secretary of the Fund is up                felt that the Council was somewhat
UN bodies, a proliferation of office           for re-election and a point has                chaotic and could not come to
holders is seen as the easiest way             been raised that no individual at              meaningful decisions on many of
to achieve consensus.                          ADG level or higher in the UN can              the issues. Future sessions of the
Two associations were admitted                 continue in the same position for              council can certainly be improved
into membership in Vienna and                  more than ten years. Consequent-               by better management of agenda,
one as Associate member pending                ly his mandate has been extended               reducing the periodicity of the
its achieving the required minimum             for a period of three years and a              sessions and more meaningful
of 25 persons as members. The                  search committee appointed to                  participation of Bureau members
Council did not accept the mem-                find the next CEO.                             in the work of FAFICS. It is felt that
bership application of the associa-            The Council also considered the                the President still maintains an
tion of GATT/WTO retirees since                future of After Services Health                overwhelming dominance on the
its statutes did not fully conform to          Insurance (ASHI) and long- term                policies of the Federation.
those required by FAFICS.                      care (ASHIL). Re the former it is
                                                                                              Finally the question arises if the
                                               postulated that actuarial projec-
The major strength of FAFICS is                                                               associations need FAFICS – a
                                               tions of current liabilities for UN in
its representation on the UN                                                                  theme often raised in various fora.
                                               New York are reported to be of the
Pension Board and Standing                                                                    I believe we do need FAFICS – if
                                               order of USD 2.4 billion and in
Committee. It represents the inter-                                                           for nothing else but to work on
                                               UNESCO of USD 0.64 billion.
ests of all retirees as opposed to                                                            pension issues – but with a much
                                               Although different institutions have
piecemeal representation, or none                                                             more streamlined structure and
                                               different ASHI schemes imple-
at all, that would ensue if FAFICS                                                            functioning. Communication with
                                               mented through different mechan-
ceased to exist. However, its stand                                                           individual members of the associa-
                                               isms, the danger exists that UN
on many of the pension issues still                                                           tions is another area needing
                                               General Assembly may exert pres-
seemed to be based on old policy                                                              close scrutiny.
                                               sure in future to curtail ASHI bene-
stands. For instance its insistence
                                               fits or raise the contributions.                                            Dev Ray

1. Defined benefits plan is based on “final” earnings – in our case the average pensionable remuneration for the three best years
among the last five in service; defined contribution plan is based on the total contributions made. Thus staff members who are pro-
moted in the end of their career gain from defined benefits plans

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                                                 Our health

                            By-passing bacterial drug-resistance
More and more drug-resistant bacterial strains are met. Roughly 19,000 Americans die every year

from drug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections, more than from HIV/AIDS. Designing new
antibiotics has become more and more difficult.
          icrobiologists hope    carrying molecules, promoting     infection, but he still bears
          to develop new ways    the development of agents,        some bacterial individuals
          to disrupt the vicious especially designed drugs         less sensitive towards the
circle.                          and vaccines, which would         antibiotic which has been
Bacteria send and receive        prevent their production or       used. The patient may devel-
messages – in the form of        inhibiting the reception of the   op a new infection, or may
small molecules – to and from    messages by their neigh-          transfer these bacteria to oth-
surrounding cells. This kind of  bours. Bacteria would be-         er people. Fighting a new
communication, called quo-       come sensitive to antibiotics     infection will need higher dos-
rum sensing, enables bacteria    again.                            es of antibiotics, a longer
to monitor their population      Another clue is based on the      treatment, and so on, until we
density and to modulate their    principles of natural selection.  get in front of a fully drug-
behaviour accordingly. Bacte-    Facing a global drug-resistant    resistant bacterial population.
ria may produce proteins         bacterial population results      Why not then, introduce into
known as virulence factors       from the pressure exerted on      patients suffering from such
that sicken their hosts. They    the species by antibiotics: at    infections non-resistant bacte-
can aggregate into a biofilm     the start of their use, almost    ria, perhaps designed to be
that render them up to 1,000     all microbes are killed, not all; much less aggressive, which
times more resistant to anti-    a few scarce individuals,         would compete the drug-
biotics and immune agents.       bearing a random mutation,        resistant bacteria, develop,
So the idea has emerged to       will survive. The patient has     and then allow successful
act upon those messages          been       cured      of     the  antibiotic treatment ?

Such avenues are facing, of course, a lot of difficulties: biological, psychological, administrative.
Nevertheless, they open the way to great hopes for the future.
                                                     Dr. S. Kossovsky (adapted from Scientific American – May 2009)

           nother avenue on the same subject:
           Endogenous Nitric Oxide Protects Bacteria against a Wide Spectrum of Antibiotics*:
          A recent study undergone in the Medical Center in Langone (USA) contributes to facilitate
the understanding of the phenomenon of microbial resistance.
 “Bacterial nitric oxide synthases (bNOS) (enzymes) are present in many bacterial species and
have been demonstrated to synthesize nitric oxid (NO) in vitro and in vivo” (Evgeny Nudler and al.)
However, the physiological role of bNOS remains largely unknown. “We show that NO generated
by bNOS increases the resistance of bacteria to a broad spectrum of antibiotics, enabling the bac-
teria to survive and share habitats with antibiotic-producing microorganisms. Our results suggest
that the inhibition of NOS activity may increase the effectiveness of antimicrobial therapy. So, find-
ing new antibiotics would become unnecessary. Instead, we can strengthen the action of those we
know well, making them more efficient with smaller doses”
                                                           DC, Abstract from an article in Science, Friday 09.11.2009.


1. Department of Biochemistry, New York University School of Medicine, 550 First Avenue, New York, NY, 10016, USA.

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                                   Our health       (Contd)

                                  Wash your hands!
“We were flabbergasted by the finding that so many people had faecal bugs on their

       his is the conclu-         had faecal bacteria on            ployed people. There was
       sion of a survey           their hands. This propor-         some     indication  that
       undertaken by re-          tion went up to 53%               women in professional
searchers from the Lon-           among men in one city. It         occupations were dirtier
don School of Hygiene             was found that people             than those in the other
and Tropical medicine             who travelled by bus were         occupation groups.
among commuters outside           more likely to show con-          Dr Val Curtis, principal
major train stations in           tamination than those who         investigator of the study
London,       Birmingham,         travelled by train. It made       commented “ … if any of
Cardiff, Liverpool and            no difference to the con-         these people had been
Newcastle.                        tamination whether some-          suffering from a diarrhoeal
                                  one had been into a hos-          disease, then the potential
The survey was carried
                                  pital that week or had re-        for it to be passed around
out as part of the first
Global Handwashing Day            ported that they washed           to other people would be
                                  their hands this morning.         greatly increased by their
on 15 October 2008, es-
                                  Interestingly, there was a        failure to wash their hands
tablished to promote hand
                                  trend for those in manual         properly after going to the
washing throughout the
                                  occupations to have less          toilet”.
                                  contamination than those
On average over a quarter         in administrative jobs, or
of 404 people sampled             students, retired or unem-

Abstracted by Dr J.P Menu from an article in Alumni News, issue 28, summer 09, pub-
lished by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Additional information
available at


                      Vaccinations against Seasonal Flu

"The WHO medical service has informed us that due to their heavy workload
and other priorities, it is impossible for them to give seasonal flu vaccinations
to retired staff. Regretfully we have to forego the traditional flu vaccinations
this year. We strongly recommend that all retirees contact their family doc-
tors, or other health clinics, to obtain flu vaccination privately.
This will incur considerable additional costs to SHI since costs of reimburse-
ment are much higher than the costs of vaccination in WHO and we shall try
to examine alternative solutions next year."
                                                 Dr David Cohen, representative to Health Insurance

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                           Share your experiences!

        What were the effects (if any) of your WHO career on your family life?
"We would be interested to hear from former colleagues who feel their “international lives” had an
impact – positive or negative - on their family lives and especially any advice they feel would be
helpful to those about to embark on a WHO career".
As parts of the AFSM project “Remembering the past”, the above question was systematically in-

cluded in the interviews of former staff members.

       he only feature            work, the dream! I had the         interviews that it is not
       common to 11 for-          impression of working              always easy.
       mer colleagues is          half-time with ample time           "On 1 April 1985, as a
that they spent much -            for family life”.                  midwife teacher and Arab-
and sometimes most - of           On the negative side the           ic speaking, I was offered
their working life outside        maximum          is expressed      to work at the National
their country of birth and        by "In my case, it was             School of Public Health in
had to interact, professio-       quite detrimental as it led        Mauritania. My husband
nally for the staff member        to the break-up of my first        was then a member of the
                                  family (because of) the            Libyan diplomatic mission
and socially for the family,      traveling and uncertainty          assigned to Morocco. As
with many other cultures.         of where we would be               Mauritania is not far from
Apart from this single fac-       going next. It might not           Morocco I did not refu-
tor the answers vary              have been the sole caus-           se and on 11 December
greatly depending on the          es for the divorce"…               1985, I started to work at
type of assignment:                In between there were a           the NPHS in Nouakchott".
                                  variety of situations.
- A geographically stable                                            Working together leads
                                  “When I took up my                 sometimes to a wed-
  posting (e.g. in HQ) versus     WHO/HQ posting (eleven
  multiple postings around                                           ding!
                                  years as a staff Member)
  the      world     implying     both of our children had           "I first worked in a multi-
  unpredictable moves every       completed their secondary          disciplinary team of the
  few years.                      education before. The              French Troupes de Ma-
                                  benefits for our family            rine. They were responsi-
- A cultural and linguistic       were visits to Geneva on           ble for a malaria control
  environment familiar or to-     their vacations to enjoy           pilot    area     in    Bobo-
  tally alien to the family.      skiing and the opportunity         Dioulasso. This was an
- “Sedentary” postings ver-       of touring nearby Europe”.         important event in my per-
  sus assignments involving                                          sonal life as it is there that
  a large amount of time and
                                   "I have been fortunate            I met the Medical Officer
                                  that my wife has been              in command of that
  travel outside the place of
                                  prepared to share our of-          project. He became my
  residence.                      ten changing life from one
- Professional experience as                                         husband and we were
                                  pole to another. My two            married just when he was
  well as the age of children     sons went to French-               recruited by the WHO as
  at the time of joining WHO.     speaking primary schools           Expert malariologist for
On the positive side the          in Tunisia and continued           Somaliland.
influence of a regular work       their secondary and uni-           We decided jointly not to
schedule is exemplified by        versity training in Switzer-       change our contracts of
                                  land…"                             work, so the day after the
a colleague having work-
ed in the HQ administra-          The case of married                wedding, my husband
tion and never in the field.      couples                            went to Somaliland and
«It was one hundred per           When both are profes-              myself to Guinea! This
cent positive when com-           sionals it is shown in the         geographical separation
pared with my previous
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                           Share your experiences                 (Contd)

led us to use our holidays        the children joined me in           went to live with her fa-
in order to maintain the          Nigeria         after     six       ther, who offered her more
family               links.       months. My wife could not           stability. It was not that I
We finally get a common           come earlier as she had to          had to travel a lot, but it is
duty by our two organiza-         have a surgical operation.          very difficult to provide
tions' employers, first in        I prepared the house, the           good care and deal with
Cameroon and Morocco.             servants etc. so that the           inflexible deadlines when
It is only then that we           "transition" was not so             having to produce tech-
could decide to have              difficult. We did not have          nical           publications.
children and lead a normal        any problem either from             In conclusion, I consider it
family life.                      expatriates or from na-             is better not to have a
                                  tionals.                            family life if one really
Our children stayed with          But after 2 years the fami-         wants to do this kind of
me to continue their edu-         ly decided to return to             international job.
cation in a French-               Belgrade mostly because
speaking country when                                                 In my time, male col-
                                  of my amoebic dysentery
my husband was called to                                              leagues had mostly wives
                                  and the episodes of hepa-
temporary assignments in                                              "at home", and I think that
                                  titis of my children.
English-speaking country,                                             these poor women were
or when he was assigned           Later when we moved to              not seeing their husbands
at the end of career in           New Delhi in 1981 our               very often. At the time
Copenhagen".                      daughters did not easily            women were supposed to
                                  adjust, not to India itself,        have fewer requirements.
The "dangers of the               but to some teachers in             I fear that now the prob-
tropics" for the health of        the American Embassy                lems have seriously ex-
                                  School.       One     teacher       acerbated the fact that
the family.                       called one of my daugh-             young professional wom-
"One of the peculiarities of      ters      "communist     gar-       en are no more accepting
life in the tropics is the risk   bage"(?!) After that she            to sacrifice their life to the
of contracting the diseas-        was very upset, disap-              career of their husbands.
es on which we came to            pointed and even psycho-
work against. A colleague                                             "International life" and
                                  logically disturbed. It was
told us that our family had                                           family stress
                                  a big price to pay for a
a good sampling of exotic         family”.                            "I think that every interna-
diseases: Malaria, Schis-                                             tional civil servant and
tosomiasis,       Salmonella,      The influence of the               their families suffer to
Hepatitis B, Borreliosis,         work load on family life            some extent from the in-
amoebic dysentery, polio,         "I think it is almost impos-        ternational civil servant’s
pneumonia etc. having left        sible to manage a WHO               conditions of work.
a legacy. (Unfortunately          career and a normal fami-
not recognized as diseas-                                             In my case, my wife found
                                  ly life. One reason is
es related to expatria-                                               that living in humid tropical
                                  that WHO work implies a
tion)".                                                               countries was almost into-
                                  high level of commitment            lerable health-wise.
 In addition, adapting to         because, as is the case
a "different culture" is          for most people the work            Local schooling opportuni-
not always easy.                  in WHO is fascinating.              ties for young children
                                                                      were often of doubtful
"To help us adapt to Nige-        I divorced from my first            quality or consistency,
ria fortunately my wife and       husband very quickly after          leading eventually to es-
I already had some expe-          I started working with the          tablishment of a home
rience in living outside of       organization. I had big             base for the family in my -
our country (Serbia).When         problems to take care of            own country. This created
you leave your country            my daughter when I found            a family life in which ‘dad’
with small children it is         myself alone with her. So           came and went periodical-
easier then if they are           much so that when she               ly and children felt to
teenagers. My wife and            was 10 years old, she               some extent detached

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                             Share your experiences                      (Contd)

emotionally from this “visi-           street.                                 intergenerational bonds
tor”.                                  When we returned to the                 were re-established and
                                       United States my wife                   continue until now".
Extra strain and stress                was denied access to
was put on my wife who                                                          Suggestion in order to
                                       work in organizations of
had to be father as well                                                       diminish eventual family
                                       the United Nations, yet
as mother to the children                                                      problems.
                                       with a diploma in medi-
for most of the year.                  cine, several "masters"                 "My family never thought
As a father I felt deprived            and a broad experience.                 it was a good idea to have
of knowing the intimate                Once back in France we                  to leave home for a long
joys and pains of the                  had to rebuild everything".             period of time. I guess it is
growing lives of my child-                                                     not everyone’s desire to
                                        The advantages of retir-
ren and unable to provide                                                      "be international". For
                                       ing at 60.
what a father normally                                                         those who want to "be
should towards their de-               "To retire at the "early"               international" it is like find-
velopment.                             age of 60 is like loosing a             ing a new family, the in-
                                       family and going back to a              ternational one. Should
In spite of all this our
                                       home which meanwhile is                 not WHO take account of
family ‘hung together’ but
                                       as strange as any other                 that during the recruit-
with great stress for me
                                       country. Again I am in a                ment phase? ".
and my wife.
                                       different situation than                 "The frequent travelling
In after-years when the                most people here, as they               certainly contributed to
children were grown up                 want to stop working and                the development of family
the problems were less                 complain about their job.               problems which I think
severe".                               Like me, I suppose most                 could have been pre-
 "International life was               colleagues from WHO                     vented.
rewarding but also very                liked the job and would
                                       like to work longer. The                I have long argued that
disruptive for my children
                                       task was to find some-                  WHO should assist the
and my wife. When we
                                       thing to do. I am happy to              professional staff in their
left the United States they
                                       have young daughters,                   career planning in order
also had to leave friends
                                       Aquila and Sofia that is                to help prepare for posi-
and those at work as my
                                       quite a meaningful occu-                tions of increasing re-
wife had been working at
                                       pation just taking care of              sponsibility and travel".
the World Bank.
                                       them".                                   "WHO should operate a
We had made the deci-
                                        "As the time for retire-               fair policy for the wives
sion to go to Ethiopia and
                                       ment came the big ques-                 equally and give them
then to return after 5
                                       tion was to whether con-                their chance in the United
years. To follow me there
                                       tinue to work with WHO                  Nations". "I am grateful
she had to abandon a
                                       (or other agencies) as                  to the DG and his wife for
well-established      family
                                       long as it was offered, or              their friendship, support
medicine practice. She
                                       whether to turn around                  and understanding of our
was      promised      some
                                       and walk a more normal                  family problems. To show
"work" by the DG, a prom-
                                       way back home. In the                   solidarity with my family,
ise which never materia-
                                       end, against the advice of              the DG's wife invited my
lized. After having ob-
                                       some, I decided to quit                 wife to be present at the
tained recognition of her
                                       the international work and              WHA and after that at a
medical doctor diploma
                                       return to Australia and                 lunch for ambassadors’
she could join the College
                                       rebuild closer links with               wives".
of Physicians in Ethiopia
and work in a clinic for               the families. Happily, this                               J-J Guilbert
poor people living in the              has worked well and deep
Extracts from interviews from Barton, Bailey, Ben Musa, Cernadas, Choumara, Christensen, Jancloes, Micovic,
Pachner, Roll-Vallanjon et Sapirie, all online on the WHO / AFSM website (in the language of their authors).

Association of Former WHO Staff                                                                       Page 10
JULY-SEPTEMBER 2009                                                                         QNT 77

  Interview of Dr Léonce Verstuyft, former WHO representative in
                         Taiwan (extracts)
Taiwan was expelled from its seat in the United Nations in 1971 in favour of China. It was deprived
of its membership in the WHO in 1972.
In 1997, the Taiwanese medical community in the then well-established health care system in Tai-
wan started a campaign to regain its participation in the WHO and obtain "Observer" status. Its 12
years ceaseless efforts continued all the way to 2009. Every year prolonged discussions were held
in the Assembly - with the insistence of China which considered Taiwan as an integral part of Chi-
On last April 29, the WHO Director-General ended the long-standing health apartheid against Tai-
wan’s health community and for the annual General Assembly (WHA62) invited Taiwan’s health
Minister and its 14 other members to be observers. China did not object. Whether it is due or not to
the epidemic of H1N1 virus or to the influence of the current director General of WHO, Dr. Chan, is
a matter of speculation.
In an extensive interview Dr. Léonce R. VERSTUYFT, a Belgian medical doctor who served more
than 3 decades as an officer of the WHO in Asian Pacific countries brought back his memories and
live experiences of Taiwan of that period. Right before Taiwan became deprived of its WHO mem-
bership, he was the Representative of the WHO in Taiwan and the last WHO staff to oversee the
public health programs in Taiwan until late 1971. This interview will be available on our AFSM
website Remembering the Past ".

                                      New members
We have pleasure in welcoming to the large AFSM family the following new
members and we congratulate them on their decision.
Life members:
Dr Davy Misheck CHIKAMATA, Lusaka Zambia; Mrs Hanne CHRISTENSEN, Gentofte, Denmark;
Dr Elisabeth FELLER-DANSOKHO, Collonge-sous- Salève, France; Mr G. NAIR, Kottayam, India ;
Dr Michel JANCLOES, Divonne, France ; Mrs Hannah SHABATHAI, Geneva, Switzerland.
Mrs Dalia SUSINI, Gland, Switzerland.

Annual members:
Mrs Ruth E. SCOTT-SMITH, Les Diablerets, Switzerland.
Conversions from annual member to life member:
Mr Eddy AUGSBURGER; Mr Georg AXMANN; Mrs Simone CERRUTI; Mr Barry CLIFF;
M. Robert DASPRES; Mrs. Stella DECK; Mrs Monique ESQUERDO; Mrs Christine GRAY;
Mrs Geneviève PEROTIN DRAEBEL; Mr Prescott STEVENS
Mrs Fiona ROYNETTE (from October 2008);
Mrs Christiane VAN DEN GHOTE; Mrs. Denise YEOMAN; Mr David THOMPSON;

                                  On the lighter side

Three retirees, each with a hearing loss, were playing golf one a fine March day.
One remarked to the other, "Windy, isn't it?"
"No," the second man replied, "it's Thursday."
And the third man chimed in, "So am I. Let's have a beer."
                                                                       From: P.K. Bansal (a WHO retiree)

Association of Former WHO Staff                                                               Page 11
JULY-SEPTEMBER 2009                                                                                              QNT 77

           Changes of addresses, modifications to names and other changes

Richard Saynor - rcsaynor@hotmail.com
Dr (Mrs) Comfort H. D. Akrofi: New address: P.O. Box AT 108, Achimota Market, Accra, Ghana
Miss M. O. Abbott: St. Serfs Residential Home, Kimbrae Park Gardens, Newport-on-Tay, Fife, DD6 8HD, UK, T. 01382 540 456
Mrs Marina Amiet-Fortis (instead of Mrs Amiet Fortis)
Mrs Rosemary Berg, 36, Ave. W. Favre 1207 Genève (Instead of David Neil Berg)
Mme Barbara Campanini, Clos Sandra, Le Gros Chigy, F-71220 Saint André le Desert
Tibor Farkas, 17 Lansell Road, Brighton East, VIC 3187 Australia,
Priscilla B. Farre, 11, Yakal Street, Monte Vista Subdivision, 1802 Marikina City, Philippines
Dr Sisvan-William Gunn, La Panetière, 3, chemin du Milieu, CH-1279 Bogis Bossey, swagunn@bluewin.ch
Dr Vincente Ivorra Cano, chemin de Montaux 5B, CH-1027 Lonay
Mr Romullo Murillo , Unit 2DE Laguna Tower, The Residences at Greenbelt, Ayala Center, Esperanza Drive, Makati City 1226,
Philippines, romullomurillo@yahoo.com
Gilbert et Jacqueline Meyrat, Rue de Moillebeau 3B, 1209 Genève
Mr Marcelo Medina, 824-1/2 W. Alice Avenue, Kingsville TX 78363
Mrs Krishneswori Pradhan, B.P.O. Box 20209, Kathmandu, Nepal, stt@mos.com.np
Mr Reddy B. Vijay, vjrdeye@gmail.com
Mrs Sheila Prause, Buzon 101, 80, Urb. La Sierrezuela, Mijas Costa 29649, Malaga, Spain
Mrs G. Van Pernis, 15, rue Viollier, 1207 Genève (instead of Mr. Barry...)
Mrs Jenny Wilson, 35 Charlotte Kemp Drive, Kerikeri 0230, Northland, New Zealand (instead of Dr Earl William Wilson)
Prof. Dr. Michael Suess P.O. Box 7572 52175 Rajat-Gan, Israel 123mjs@gmail.com
Ms Bernadette Rivett: b.rivett@talktalk.net
We thank Mr Agrawal for having informed us of the following errors in the 2009 Directory.
Page 1 "AGARWAL Mr B.N." (myself). Please delete as my full name appears on the same page: (AGRAWAL, Mr BHOLA N.)
Page 5 Delete "BALDEV MR KRISHAN". Died several years back.
Page 7 Delete "BHATIA MR MUKAND LAL". Died 2 years back.
Page 23 Change "GAMGHIRI" to read "GAMBHIRI"
Page 35 Delete "KORPAL MRS KALAVATI". Died several years back.
Page 57 Delete "SEHGAL Mr SARDARI LAL". Died a few years back.
Page 57 Delete "SETHI Mrs KAUSHAL KAUR". Died more than 12 months back.
Page 60 "SWARUP SHARMA Mr RAM:" appears as "SHARMA Mr R.S." on page 57
I will let you know if any more wrong entries come to my notice.
Best regards. BN AGRAWAL
Our excuses for these errors which will be corrected in the next edition of the Directory. We would
ask all our readers to note the changes. Thanks
Joan Annaheim’s friends will be very sorry to learn that, following an accident early this
year, she had to leave from her house in Begnins and settle in England in a nursing home
for old persons in Sussex, near her family. With my best regards.
                                                                                                               Averil Foster

Dear Members,
To allow us to communicate with you by e-mail, kindly check if your e-mail address given in
Directory 2009 is correct, or if you do have an e-mail which is not listed in the Directory for
2009, kindly send an e-mail to afsm_aoms@who.int. If you do not wish the e-mail to be
published in the Directory, do let us know.

Association of Former WHO Staff                                                                                    Page 12
JULY-SEPTEMBER 2009                                                                          QNT 77

                                           In Geneva

                  Operation Clean-up in Geneva’s parks
                                                                   Geneva has an unique heritage of
                                                                   parks and gardens. The surface of
                                                                   its public parks is 24% of the city’s
                                                                   total area! Geneva’s parks are
                                                                   victims of their popularity. As soon
                                                                   as the weather turns fine, they are
                                                                   visited by the general public who
                                                                   lay on the grass to sunbathe.
                                                                   Unfortunately, rubbish of all kinds:
                                                                   paper, empty beer cans or drink
                                                                   bottles litter the lawns after their
                                                                     For this reason, the City of Geneva
                                                                     has decided to launch a prevention
                                                                     campaign, ““Ce parc est aussi le
                                                                     vôtre” (this park is also yours),
                                                                     starting with the Park des Bas-
tions. After a year’s experiment, this action will cover all the City’s parks.
The Park des Bastions is the largest of Geneva’s parks (nearly 65,000 square metres)
The botanical garden used to be situated there until it was moved to its present site, but numerous
specimens of trees and shrubs remain witness to its presence: no less than 150 varieties of trees
and bushes, some of which are unusual or rare: cork oak, yellow horse-chestnut, kaki, etc.
In July 2009, Mr Manuel Tornare, Councillor administratively responsible for City Services, held a
press conference in the Park des Bastions to inform the public that it had become urgent to organ-
ize a clean-up campaign of the City’s parks (Roger Fontana and David Cohen were present at the
meeting). In his message, Mr Tornare recalled the decision taken by one of his predecessors in
1982 to lift the ban of walking on the grass. This was a sensible decision, but, because of the
heavy use of the parks, it has become indispensable to undertake a far-reaching clean-up action.
Mr Tornare and his collaborators decided that a group of senior volunteers should be responsible
for speaking to the users of the parks and to exhort them to put their rubbish in bins, the number of
which have been considerably increased.
So it was during the month of August that the clean-up of the Park des Bastions took place. The
senior volunteers were recognized by their T-shirts which carried the slogan, “Ce parc est aussi le
Our friend, Roger Fontana, well known for his implication in actions of a social na-
ture, participated with his usual enthusiasm in this campaign.
Apples were distributed to the general public during the morning and evening sessions held every
Thursday, Friday and Saturday during August by campaign volunteers.
The closure of the operation on Saturday, 29 August from 9 p.m. in which organizers, seniors and
the public, armed with shovels, brooms and gloves, restored a clean and tidy park to the public.
Mr Tornare warmly thanked participants and underlined the importance to preserve the City’s
parks, jewels of Geneva’s heritage “clean and welcoming”.

                                                                                R. Fontana and D:Cohen

Association of Former WHO Staff                                                                 Page 13
JULY-SEPTEMBER 2009                                                                          QNT 77

                                      In memoriam
Laudi Ferdinand Biegel, best known to colleagues and friends as Fredy, passed away on 27 Feb-
ruary 2009 at the age of 78 years, after a period of illness.
Fredy first joined WHO in           days», prior to full com-               World War II, he moved
1971 as a Personnel Of-             puterization,   he     was              to the Netherlands with
ficer in the Regional Of-           known for his efficiency in             his family. He was also a
fice for Africa. His next           preparing a note for the                very cultured man who
assignment was as Ad-               record of each contribu-                loved his evenings at the
ministrative Officer for a          tion received in TDR, fa-               theatre. At home he
reproductive health pro-            cilitating  prompt      ac-             thoroughly spoilt his fe-
ject in Bangkok before              knowledgements         and              line friends – his cats had
moving to WHO Head-                 expressions of thanks to                their personal paradise, a
quarters,     Geneva     in         donors.                                 cage connected to the
1973. He held the posi-                                                     back of his house.
                                    Fredy was also very fond
tion of Finance Officer in                                                  Fredy's special character,
                                    of travel, especially to
TDR until 1990 when he                                                      personal contributions to
                                    Indonesia where he was
retired.                                                                    humanitarian goals, and
                                    born in the colonial pe-
                                                                            his friendship will be
Fredy was a very consci-            riod when the country
                                                                            sorely missed. Fredy is
entious colleague who               was known as the Dutch
                                                                            survived by his wife,
paid meticulous attention           East Indies. Following
to detail. In the "good old
                                                                                    Susan Block Tyrrell

William Marriott Douglas (7 June 1919 – 9 March 2009)

                     Many present and former staff members will be sad to know that Bill Doug-
                     las has died. He was nearly ninety and had enjoyed a long and happy re-
                     tirement with his wife Yvette, since leaving WHO in 1978 after 30 years ser-
                     vice. He was a man of great compassion, humanity and principle. In his pro-
                     fessional relationships Bill was highly respected for his integrity, and as a
                     friend was well loved.                                                  G.Stott
                     Jim Donald, a close personal                    Another good friend of many
                     friend, writes:                                 years, Kofi Annan writes:
                      “Bill Douglas was one of the few               “Above all Bill was a wonder-
technically and professionally qualified accountants on              ful human being, sensitive,
the staff of WHO. As chief of the internal audit function            compassionate and had an
of the Organisation he was responsible for ensuring
                                                                     unusual understanding of the
that the accounts of the Organisation met international
standards as well as the WHO Constitution and re-                    human condition. Bill as-
lated responsibilities in the realms of fraud et al. Be-             sisted me a great deal when I
cause of his high personal standards Bill did these                  joined WHO as a young pro-
duties well. His broad human understanding of those                  fessional. I have lost a dear
he had contact with enhanced his success. His sense                  friend. Yvette must know that
of humour and sensitiveness to people at large facili-               Bill was loved”.
tated his work especially on occasions when the
“powers that be” were opposed to his required ad-

Association of Former WHO Staff                                                                Page 14
JULY-SEPTEMBER 2009                                                                           QNT 77

                                     In memoriam                (contd)

                     Mr. Parasuraman Narayanan passed away recently whilst on a visit to India.
                     He joined the WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia in 1949, and was at the
                     WHO Headquarters, Geneva from 1961 until his retirement in 1987.
                     As Personnel Officer and Head of Classification and Salary Administration, he
                     made substantial and far-reaching contributions in his work in the classifica-
                     tion standards for professional and general service posts.
                     He represented WHO on CCAQ sub-committee on job classification and was
                     elected as Vice-Chairman of this committee in 1979, a post which he held until
                     I had the privilege to know him well, both personally and professionally.
Mr. Narayanan will be remembered for his intelligence, hard work and above all, his friendliness and
helpfulness to all.
He will be missed by all who knew him. Our sincere condolences to the family                   R. Pal.

                        Rudolph Swann was born in 1928 in Pennsylvania, USA and passed away
                        on 1 April 2009. “Rudy”, as he was affectionately known, was trained in
                        nursing education and also entered a seminary to be a monk. Rudy was
                        employed by WHO in various countries in South-East Asia – as Nurse Edu-
                        cator. He retired in 1988. Rudy has left many nephews, nieces, and children
                        of his godchild – also deceased - in India. I met Rudy on many occasions in
                        Indonesia and Sri Lanka and Delhi – he impressed all of us with his friendly
                        nature and dedication to his job. We extend our condolences to all relatives
                            and friends he has left behind.
                                                                                             Dev Ray
                                                   Other deaths recently notified
Ljuba Vesely ;   Marcelle Buffet: 10.09.2009; Eric Giroult, 29.09.2009.

       Comments on the new edition of AFSM’S Directory 2009

You have received the 2009 edition of our Directory and and you sent us many letters expressing
interest in it. Many of you have expressed satisfaction on its presentation.
Inevitably, it is not up to date on the day it appears and many of you have sent us corrections
which have been incorporated in the data base which we will try regularly to update via the QNT.
We should particularly like to thank Mr Bhola Agrawal (India) who gave us many corrections re-
garding Indian members. Thanks also go to Professor Michael Suess (Israel) for his contribution.
Only life members and paid-up annual members receive the Directory. It actually includes, howev-
er, the names and addresses of people who do not pay but who, in the past, have agreed that their
details be published but who have never been members or have ceased to be. The original idea of
the Directory was in effect to have a permanent tool by which the largest number of old colleagues
could remain in contact. So whilst we have encouraged old colleagues to become members of
AFSM we have never made it prerequisite a rule to appear in the Directory. Some of you, for ex-
ample Mrs Coby Sikkens, disagree with this point of view and think that an association directory
should only contain paid-up members. The inclusion of non-members devalues member status.
The Committee will be discussing this before preparing the next edition and we should appreciate
receiving other reactions on this point. To conclude, Bernadette Rivett (United Kingdom) told us
that reading the Directory “brought on a fit of nostalgia and I have had to stop!” She is probably not
alone in feeling the same emotion!
                                                                          Anne Yamada and Jean-Paul Menu

Association of Former WHO Staff                                                                 Page 15
JULY-SEPTEMBER 2009                                                                                                                     QNT 77

                                                          Readers’ Corner
                                   Message to Newcomers of the great family of AFSM
I will tell you the story of what happened to two United Nations officials, A and F, living together since a long time in the United
A, suffering from stomach                              to hospital with F who was covered                      Additionally, it is also possible upon
pains, decides to be treated in a                      by his UN insurance.                                    retirement to take out a complemen-
clinic in Switzerland, where she has                                                                           tary insurance to cover the 20 per
                                                       Shortly after the arrival of our two
been treated with success in the                                                                               cent3.
                                                       friends at HUG, the insurance pre-
past. Upon arrival she is immediate-
                                                       mium was paid, allowing the various                     2. Remember to pay your pre-
ly examined by a doctor who informs
                                                       administrative offices of the hospital                  miums every year.
her that she cannot stay and he
                                                       to take the necessary steps for or-
sends her to the University Hospital                                                                           3. All of us are susceptible one day
                                                       ganizing the return journey of F an A
of Geneva (HUG); the reason, which                                                                             to have a bad or very bad blow and
                                                       back to her country of origin. A has
she later learnt, being the following.                                                                         this with the probability which grows
                                                       had several operations since her
                                                                                                               with an increase in years of life from
The doctor estimated that the pa-                      arrival and is waiting for the moment
                                                                                                               which we continue to benefit. Take
tient’s state required a very costly                   when the doctors decide that she is
                                                                                                               the care then that all necessary
intervention. Or, it should be known,                  well enough to return home where
                                                                                                               measures have been taken that the
that A upon retirement gave up her                     she can convalesce without danger.
                                                                                                               last days of our lives do not become
WHO insurance and took out anoth-
                                                       The moral of the story and errors not                   a heavy burden or cause a nervous
er in her country. Unfortunately, she
                                                       to be committed:                                        breakdown for our relatives, or, in
forgot to pay her dues for 2009.
                                                                                                               their absence, our friends.
                                                       l. In no circumstances1 should you
As is usual, the surgeon at the clinic,
                                                          interrupt your WHO Health In-                        N.B. On the advice of the AFSM
before undertaking the operation,
                                                          surance upon retirement.                             Committee, the United States con-
contacted his patient’s insurance
                                                                                                               sulate was contacted to ascertain
company for its approval. But, as the                  This covers 80 per cent of your
                                                                                                               whether a service which could help
dues for this year had not been paid,                  expenses, but if these are higher
                                                                                                               lodge nationals in difficulty existed.
the surgeon could not perform an                       than a certain percentage of your
                                                                                                               The appropriate service said it had
operation the cost of which, in ac-                    pension, SHI considers your ex-
                                                                                                               nothing to offer regarding eventual
cordance with the hospital’s regula-                   penses as “catastrophic”2 and cov-
                                                                                                               lodgings, but gave a list of various
tions, would be at his patient’s ex-                   ers you entirely over and above this
                                                                                                               addresses for other kinds of “help”.
pense. Whereupon his decision to                       percentage. Furthermore, the WHO
send A as quickly as possible to                       insurance is by far the cheapest of                                             Daniel Reelfs
HUG. She was, therefore, admitted                      all other insurance that you can buy.

ED: 1. It is indeed preferable for you to keep your WHO Insurance which could be complementary in case you are
entitled to a national insurance such as Social Security in France.
2. Cf. details and precisions in our article A complementary insurance? in QNT 76, page 4.
3. For complementary insurances, see also the same article.
To sum up, carefully inquire before making any decision, because once WHO SHI has been annulled, you
can never renew it.
                                                                Dr D. Cohen, AFSM representative on The Health Insurance Committee.

I am the son of a former WHO/PAHO staff member. My father, Fernando Rodriguez Alon-
so, passed away on 17th August 2009. Besides the pain surrounding the loss of my father,
I had to face the need to sort out all the details of my mother's pension and health insur-
ance. These were completely new to me as my father had always dealt with them by him-
self. Your prompt help was essential in a moment of special hardship for me and my family and
proved the true value of your Association. On behalf of my mother and myself, I would like to thank
you all,
Sincerely                                             Fernando Rodriguez Romero, Madrid, Spain

Association of Former WHO Staff                                                                                                            Page 16
JULY-SEPTEMBER 2009                                                                          QNT 77

                                 Readers’ Corner              (Contd)

Dear friends around the world,
After sultry weather in Geneva, it has now turned beastly – rain, storms and hail. Let us go beneath
other skies to Fez from where I send you several photos of this beautiful city, and where I attended
the Sacred Music Festival of the World. The idea was to combine music of different origins; so I
was able to see on stage the famous jazz violinist, Didier Lockwood, and Caroline Casadesus
(song) with a famous orchestra and singer performing Moroccan music. Combining the two musical
cultures was not easy. The setting was Bab Makina, one of the great access gates to the Medina,
mediaeval city, in a vast enclosure able to contain 2,000 people. We also saw the famous whirling
Derviches from Konya in Turkey, fascinating by the beauty of their songs and elegance.

Fez is a mediaeval city surrounded by a twelve kilometre wall! The Medina contains six thousand
streets! Madrassas, mosques and the dominant colour of the mosaics cover them and the blue of
the city is the green of Islam. It is there where the great intellectuals/philosophers met in the years
1200 and lived like Maïmonides and Averroes (Ibn Rushd) – read the historical novel by Jacques
Attali “La Confrérie des Eveillés” (The Brotherhood of the Enlightened) on this subject which sup-
poses a meeting between these two great philosophers Jewish and Muslim. See also the film “The
Destiny” by Youssef Chahine which relates the life of Averroès.

Every afternoon at the Batha Museum around a magnificent oak, one could attend performances of
ethnic music and song of superb quality such as the famous Corsican songs by the I Muvrini
group. But Fès is also the “Rencontres de Fès” which brought together every morning at the Batha
Museum the great intellectuals of all origins who debated actual events, and tea in the Moroccan
style, strawberry syrup, almonds and pastries – as much as you could eat!!!

                                                                               Monique Eid, WHO retiree.

                 Soufi dancers of Konya                Bab Makhina where the performances were held

     The first non-medical woman to become Regional Director for Europe
Mrs Zsuzsannna Jakab was elected on 15 September 2009 by the Regional Committee for Eu-
rope. Of Hungarian nationality, she is actually Director of the European Centre for the prevention
and control of Diseases. She was previously Secretary of State in the Hungarian Ministry of Health
and also occupied several Director posts at the European office in Copenhagen. Whilst waiting for
her confirmation by the Executive Board, we send her our best wishes for her success.

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JULY-SEPTEMBER 2009                                                                             QNT 77

                                                       Trip to Croatia
                               DAY 1: PARIS– DUBROVNIK : Cabins can be occupied from 17h ;
                               welcome cocktail ;dinner on board; free evening.
                               DAY 2: DUBROVNIK – MLJET
                               After breakfast, guided tour of the city « the pearl of the Adriatic »,
                               which faces the sea at the foot of a chalky mountain range with an
                               indented outline. Mediaeval ramparts, numerous buildings pre-
                               roman, gothic, Renaissance and baroque : Dominican convent
                               (1225) with a gothic cloister and trefoiled bay windows, a peaceful
                               orange and palm garden and an extraordinary art museum with
                               valuable paintings such as the tryptic by Nikola Bozidarevic
                               representing Dubrovnik before the terrible earthquake of 1667, the
                               Rector’s palace, once headquarters of government, today trans-
formed into a museum and finally the cathedral on Marin Drzic square, rebuilt between 1672 and
1713 on the ruins of a Roman church. Then the Fountains of Onofrio (1438 and 1441) in front of St
Blaise church (18th century) and the Sponza Palace, stately building which mixes gothic and Re-
naissance styles. Return to ship about 1 pm, lunch. Free afternoon to sightsee Dubrovnik. A walk
is suggested around the ramparts which entirely encircle the old town ; 2 kms. long and up to 25
metres in height. A good view of the city is obtained from the ramparts. Return to ship in the even-
ing. Dinner followed by dancing. Cruise departure about midnight.

Arrive approx. 9 am in Mljet. Situated between the island of Korcula and Dubrovnik, it is one of the
most beautiful islands of the Adriatic. Guided tour. Leave on foot, then embark local boats for the
trip to the monastery. The island has two lakes: the Malo Jezero and the Veliko Jejero. A Benedic-
tine monastery rises on an island in the middle of Veliko Jezero. Built in the 12th century in the
Roman style and altered many times since, it has now become Renaissance and baroque in style.
Return to ship at the end of the morning. During lunch leave for Korcula. Arrive approx 2pm.
Guided visit of the town. It is exclusively on foot that you will discover the town and visit the Cathe-
dral of St. Mark (1420). You will see its sumptuous door flanked by two lions, the work of the Milan
artist Bonino, and in the window St. Mark the Evangelist, the city’s museum which houses ancient
Greek and Roman artefacts. Return to ship during the evening. Dinner on board followed by a fol-
klore evening « Sabre Dance ». s
Early morning departure. Breakfast en route. Morning cruise through exceptional countryside
around the islands of Hvar, Brac and Split Lunch on board. Arrival at Sibenik at about 2pm. Guided
visit of the town and the Krka waterfallls. During he course of the visit not only will you discover the
cultural heritage but also life today in the oldest Slav city of the Adriatic. You will visit its historical
centre with its network of small streets of the 15th and 16th centuries and the Cathedral of St.
James entirely built in stone. Coach ride to the Krka waterfalls. The river runs for 75 kms from its
spectacular course near Knin to the Adriatic which its rejoins at Sibenik. The Krka gets bigger and
forms a lake before narrows again at Stradinski Buk. It is at this level that the site is at its most
beautiful : the water rebounds in cascades down 17 stone beds one after the other over a short
distance.Return on board for dinner and entertainment by the crew.
 Leave early in the morning, breakfast on board. Arrival about 8am in Trogir. Guided visit of the
town. Built on an island which it covers, Trojir is a small jewel in a maze of streets studded with
steps and arched passage ways. World Heritage site. Superb cathedral of St. Lawrence (13th cen-
tury). Return to ship end of morning. Sail towards Split. We hug the Dalmatian coast, arriving at
Split about 3pm. Second largest city of Croatia, she is the heart of central Dalmatia. Split, is above
all, the Diocletian palace some distance away from the town of Salona. It is then a mediaeval ag-
glomeration which encircles the palace and which has developed around it. Guided tour of the city
of Trumbiceva Obala (Riva), a vast promenade which gives on to he southern wall of the Roman
Diocletian palace, relatively well preserved, the Diocletian mausoleum which was transformed into
Association of Former WHO Staff                                                                    Page 18
JULY-SEPTEMBER 2009                                                                            QNT 77

                                      Trip to Croatia (Contd)

a cathedral at the end of the 7th century to which has been added, during the 13th and 14th centu-
ries, a bell tower. The visit allows you to discover the cloisters, the temple of Jupiter as well as St.
 Domnius cathedral. The ancient Diocletian mausoleum has kept its original structure surrounded
             by 24 columns. Return to ship early evening, dinner on board, free evening.
Breakfast on board. Arrive Hvar approx. 9am. Guided visit of the town : principal square, Trg Sve-
tog Stjepana, one of the biggest and most ancient squares in Dalmatia. St. Stephen’s cathedral
with its bell tower built during the 16th and 17th centuries on the foundations of a primitive cathe-
dral destroyed by the Turks. Keeping to the port, we make our way to the Franciscan monastery
dating from the 15th century with its cloisters and refectory exhibiting its lace, money, maps of the
seas and rare books. Return on board for lunch and departure for Vis where we arrive at about
2pm. The most westerly and least known of all the Dalmatian islands, long time closed to tourists, it
is a pearl which must absolutely be discovered. Unspoilt countryside, jagged coastline sheltering
many creeks and grottoes. In reality, the island is the most authentic of the Adriatic. The town was
founded by the Greeks in 390 BC with the name of Issa at the far end of a large bay. Visit to the
archaeological museum which houses, amongst other things, pottery, jewelry and sculptures of the
Greek-Roman period, including a wonderful bronze head representing Aphrodite or Artemis. 16th
century garden. Return to ship for gala dinner and dance.
Breakfast on board. Arrival at Kotor during the morning. The mouths of the Kotor are unusual : the
sea has penetrated for several kilometres, forming many calm water bays which formerly were full
of fish ensuring the livelihood of several ports. The abundance of rain and the mild climate in this
bay, formed like a fjord, explain the luxuriance of the vegetation. Lunch on board. Guided visit of
Kotor. Discover the old town on foot. Visit the 9th century St. Tryphon cathedral built to house the
Saint’s relics brought from Asia Minor by sailors from Kotor, and the maritime museum. Return to
ship at approx. 4pm and depart for Dubrovnik which we will reach in the evening. Dinner on board,
free evening.
DAY 8: Breakfast on board. DUBROVNIK – PARIS-GENEVA.
Price: About 2,000 Euros, all included. (Plane Geneva-Roissy CDG airport, plane Paris-
Dubrovnik, accommodation in double cabin upper deck, full board including drinks and coffee,
all excursions). Single cabin add 438 Euros; other decks deduct 129 Euros between the upper and
lower decks; other decks: middle. All excursions included.

A few cabins are still available. You can book before December 1st 2009 (first booked, first served).
                                           Booking form
I am interested in the trip to Croatia:
Name:       Forename:
Number of persons:
Mail address:
Tel:                                                         E-mail:

       Date and Signature:

                                                        Reply by email or mail (no telephone calls, please)

Association of Former WHO Staff                                                                  Page 19
JULY-SEPTEMBER 2009                                                                                                                                                    QNT 77

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Association of Former WHO Staff                                                                                                                                            Page 20

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