Securing our region's health
AbstractProtecting the health and lives of people against the threat of infectious diseases is an ongoing challenge. In 2005, two regions of the World Health Organization, the South-East Asia Region and the Western Pacific Region, joined forces in a new initiative to confront these challenges. The resulting Asia Pacific Strategy for Emerging Diseases (APSED) has guided countries and areas in strengthening their capacity to prevent, detect and respond to infectious diseases, and in ensuring they are well prepared in the event of a newly emerging threat. At both the country level and regional level there has been enormous progress over the past five years. Almost all Member States now have national systems in place to detect as early as possible outbreaks of potentially life-threatening diseases. The majority of Member States have the capacity to detect influenza viruses, thereby providing an early warning of unusual strains. There is greater networking among laboratories and more effective collaboration between hospitals and public health authorities. Animal and human health sectors are working more closely than ever before to prevent and respond to zoonotic disease outbreaks. In the Asia Pacific region, we now have a strong network of individuals and organizations ready to provide expert support during outbreaks. Meanwhile, training programmes are ensuring that successive generations of health care workers and officials are skilled in investigating and managing disease outbreaks and other public health emergencies.
WHO/SEARO/WPRO. (2010). Securing our region's health. WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia. http://www.who.int/iris/handle/10665/205885