Revision of MoU on Mekong Basin Disease Surveillance cooperation discussed at meeting

Deputy Health Minister Dr Win Myint, delegates from the MBDS countries, Rockefeller Foundation and Skoll Foundation, who attend the Mekong Basin Disease Surveillance Board meeting, in group photo.
Deputy Health Minister Dr Win Myint, delegates from the MBDS countries, Rockefeller Foundation and Skoll Foundation, who attend the Mekong Basin Disease Surveillance Board meeting, in group photo.

Myanmar on Sunday hosted a Mekong Basin Disease Surveillance Board (MBDS) meeting in Yangon to discuss key factors to revise the current MoU on MBDS and prevention and control of infectious diseases, according to the Ministry of Health.
Ebola preparedness in MBDS, its current activities and future plans, and handover of the chairmanship from Myanmar to Thailand are the main objectives of the meeting.
At the meeting, the participating countries also carried out the tasks of revising and finalizing the MoU on MBDS cooperation.
The MoU will be signed among the health ministers of the six Mekong basin countries—Cambodia, China, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam—at the World Health Assembly in May in Geneva, the health ministry said.
The new MoU will include action plans for Ebola, which is one of the prioritized activities of MBDS, as well as special training programmes.
MBDS countries have been working together since 2001 to collaborate on infectious disease surveillance and control and response to any public health emergency of international concern.
Speaking on the occasion, Deputy Health Minister Dr Win Myint said, “Information sharing among the MBDS countries provides the key platform for rapid response and containment of communicable diseases especially at the cross border areas.”
Dr Pasakorn Akarasewi of the Thai Ministry of Public Health, said, “We also focused on upgrading the diagnostic capacity at laboratories, developing human resources and ICT and responding to outbreaks collaboratively through information and joint outbreak investigation.”
This year’s meeting also focused on the prevention of viruses transmitted to humans from animals. According to researchers, about 75 percent of recently emerging infectious diseases affecting humans are of animal origin, Dr Win Naing, director (Epidemiology), the Department of Health, said.

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