DENPASAR, Indonesia, May 18, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- ASEAN members agreed on setting up the ASEAN Center for Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases (ACPHEED) at the 15th ASEAN Health Minister Meeting (15th AHMM) in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia on May 11-15, 2022.
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Indonesian Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said that Southeast Asia's regional bloc agreed to solidify the three main pillars of pandemic preparedness-prevention, detection, and response-and enshrined them into a capacity building center.
"These centers will build the capability and capacity of all ASEAN countries to prepare themselves if there is a potential for a new pandemic," said Minister Budi at a press conference following the closing session of the 15th AHMM.
The center will be financed from contribution of ASEAN member countries as well as other potential contribution of donor countries. Japan has expressed its support to ACPHEED operation after learning that the AHMM in Bali agreed to the center's founding principle, the division of tasks, and the extend of the center's authorities.
The formal accord of the ACPHEED establishment is to be signed by later this year.
"We hope that if it can be signed in September, so we can start building it. In Indonesia, we expect that we can use the facility by next year," said Budi.
ACPHEED will make it easier for ASEAN member states to tap into health resources with variety of prevention, detection and response competencies developed and stored in the three facilities located in the large economies in the region--Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand.
During the five-day meeting, the three countries expressed their intent and readiness to establish ACPHEED facilities with specific competencies. Indonesia will focus on skills such as disease surveillance and response.
Minister Budi added that besides agreeing to establish the center, ASEAN agrees to adopt and harmonize health protocol standards throughout ASEAN.
"Should there be another pandemic, ASEAN countries are ready," he said.
Source: The Indonesian Ministry of Health