We will explore more cooperation in this sector
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Health Ministry is exploring multilateral cooperation in the health security sector through diplomacy at the 43rd ASEAN Summit in Jakarta.

"We will explore more cooperation in this sector. The results will be published at the end of the summit," the ministry's Head of Communication and Public Service Bureau, Siti Nadia Tarmizi, stated in Jakarta on Wednesday.

This year, Indonesia is chairing the ASEAN and holds the 43rd ASEAN Summit in Jakarta on September 5-7. The summit will be attended by 19 state leaders, including ASEAN partner countries and international organizations.

Tarmizi noted that Indonesia, as the ASEAN chair in 2023, encouraged the bloc to be stronger and ready to face current and future health challenges.

Indonesia also ensures that all countries in the ASEAN region have easy and quality access to health funds, she stated.

Tarmizi then outlined three important aspects to strengthen ASEAN's commitment to building a future for the health sector in the region.

First, increasing the provision of health infrastructure in the ASEAN region in the form of supervision, research, and development, as well as the production of vaccines, pharmaceuticals, and medical equipment.

The second aspect pertains to improving software or human resources to ensure the availability of skilled individuals, who can be quickly mobilized across national borders when the need arises.

Third, ASEAN member countries can share knowledge, skills training, and preparedness for future pandemics through easy access to emergency funds, she remarked.

According to Tarmizi, a meeting between ASEAN health ministers last week proposed that various funding sources to handle the pandemic could be pooled into a single, well-managed fund to address regional disparities.

"By exploring the utilization of the COVID-19 Response Fund, which has the potential to be expanded beyond its original scope, into a pool of funds to address various financial gaps in the ASEAN Health sector," she remarked.

Moreover, she noted that health resilience of the ASEAN region can be realized through the establishment of the ASEAN Center of Public Health Emergency and Emerging Disease (ACPHEE) as a center for ASEAN cooperation to deal with potential health emergencies.

Three main pillars carried out through the emergency center are surveillance, treatment, and risk management efforts, she remarked.

Tarmizi stated that some countries, namely Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam, had expressed their commitment to supporting the three main pillars, while Indonesia will be focusing on the surveillance pillar.

Related news: Health investments drive ASEAN economic growth: Indonesian minister
Related news: Now right time to invest in health sector: Indonesian health minister
Related news: ASEAN health ministers discuss future pandemic mitigation

Translator: Andi Firdaus, Resinta S
Editor: Sri Haryati
Copyright © ANTARA 2023