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ASEAN Health Ministers Retreat firstly held in Vietnam

Thu, 18 Sep 2014. Last updated Thu, 25 Jun 2015 08:49

On September 11, Mr. Nguyen Thanh Long, the Deputy of Health Ministry said that at the international press conference the ASEAN Health Ministers Retreat would be held by the Ministry of Health in Hanoi.

During the five days from 15th to 19th September, ASEAN Health Ministers Retreat will be organized in Hanoi with the participation of nearly 200 delegates. The 12th conference will concentrate on discussing burning issues in the region, especially newly emerging infectious disease, Ebola. On the sidelines of this conference, there are four other meetings between counterparts of developing such contents as sustainable finance for HIV/AIDS prevention, new infectious diseases prevention, spreading the coverage of health insurance, aging population and responses. International delegates come from 10 ASEAN country members, China, South Korea, Japan, and ASEAN Secretariat.


The 11th ASEAN Health Ministers Retreat


The ministerial conference is organized every two years with the aims of issuing health strategies and policies in the region. Vietnam is holding this ministerial conference for the first time. According to Mr. Nguyen Thanh Long, Deputy of Vietnam Health Ministry the conference focuses on discussing and solving the regional burning health problems. In addition, listening to the reports of specialized working groups in the framework of Master Plan for ASEAN Cultural Community, strengthening to cooperate with external regional partners as China, Korea, and Japan with the aims of caring, protecting, and improving the entire region are key activities in this meeting.

The plenary sessions in the scope of ASEAN +3 and ASEAN + China will mainly discuss and solve issues such as health improvement in primary prevention of non-infectious diseases, multidisciplinary cooperation in preventing new infectious diseases with the purpose of taking care, protecting and improving the regional people's health. Infectious and newly emerging infectious diseases are threatening the regional sustainable development, at the same time creating pressure to health system in many ASEAN's members. Several newly emerging infectious diseases are measles, malaria, rabies, influenza A/H5N1, Influenza A/H7N9, MERS-CoV, and Ebola. Ebola virus disease causes concern to international community and threatens the global health security.


Logo of ASEAN Community


According to the World Health Organization, as to September 6, there were 4,293 cases catching Ebola virus, including 2,296 of deaths in 5 countries in West Africa. In Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, the disease strongly spreads. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, there were 58 cases recorded of catching Ebola, including 31 deaths. At the conference, Vietnam shared experiences on being one of 10 countries on the line of achieving the Millennium Development Goals No. 4 (reducing infant mortality and mortality in children under 5), and the Millennium Development Goals No. 5 (reducing maternal mortality). In addition, Vietnam shared experiences and lessons for covering and expanding health insurance nationwide.

The ASEAN Health Ministers Meeting is also an opportunity for Vietnam improving its position, reputation in the region, and its role in ASEAN, especially in the field of health. Simultaneously, this is also an occasion to promulgate the image of Vietnam and share health accomplishments of the country in protecting, taking care, and improving Vietnamese people’s health to international friends. In addition, it is an opportunity to strengthen international cooperation in health field, attempt to build up an ASEAN Community with people as its center, have responsibility to society, in order to establish long-lasting solidarity and reunification among ASEAN countries.

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