ASEAN nations agree to form public health emergency center

ASEAN nations agree to form public health emergency center

Indonesian Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin delivers a press statement after chairing the 15th ASEAN Health Ministers’ Meeting in Nusa Dua, Bali, on Saturday (May 14, 2022). (ANTARA/Andi Firdaus)

There will be three pillars of ACPHEED, surveillance or detection, response, and risk management
Bali (ANTARA) - ASEAN health ministers have approved the establishment of an ASEAN Center for Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases (ACPHEED) as a collaborative effort to deal with extraordinary events and future pandemics.

"There will be three pillars of ACPHEED, surveillance or detection, response, and risk management," Indonesian Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said while delivering a press statement after chairing the 15th ASEAN Health Ministers’ Meeting in Nusa Dua, Bali, on Saturday.

These pillars will be supported by three ASEAN representative countries, namely Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia, who will work together under one ACPHEED establishment to anticipate extraordinary events, he added.

"There will be a collaboration of three countries, each of whom will build offices in their countries for the three existing pillars," he informed.

The working principles of ACPHEED will be generally similar to those of the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), he said.

"In addition to disease emergencies, there is also risk management of extraordinary events," Sadikin said.

According to him, every ASEAN country has the right to fill the three offices in the spirit of togetherness.

"For example, Indonesia takes the role of surveillance and early detection, and the office can be in Indonesia, but Thais, Malaysians, or Singaporeans can be based there to be able to integrate the detection of potential extraordinary events in ASEAN," he explained.

Minister Sadikin, who is also chair of the ASEAN Health Ministers Meeting, called ACPHEED a solution to address the problems of differing health protocols in each ASEAN country.

"Health experts say this cannot be handled differently; it must be addressed in a health way as the same epidemiological entity. The health protocols must be harmonized," he said.

For uniformity of health protocols, ASEAN countries can adopt provisions similar to the implementation of public activities restrictions (PPKM) in Indonesia.

"We will synergize the ASEAN health protocols. If the cases have dropped significantly in a country, then the health protocol relaxation will be higher than in other countries. Just like PPKM in every province," he explained.

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