More Needed to Be Done to Overcome NCD (BruDirect (Brunei))

With the state of the region’s health in the hands of those working in the public sector, it was reminded yesterday that much can still be done to overcome many communicable diseases from spreading throughout the Asean Community.

In opening the 10th Meeting of the Asean Expert Group on Communicable Diseases (AEGCD) at The Rizqun International Hotel in Gadong, the Director General of Health Services, Pengiran Dr. Haji Mohd Khalifah bin Pengiran Haji Ismail, highlighted that despite advances that have been made within Asean in the public health sector, many countries still carry the burden of communicable diseases, including the likes of HIV, tuberculosis (TB) as well as dengue.

“While knowledge of the essential requirements needed to control and eradicate these diseases are not lacking, operationalising these principles into a successful disease eradication programme that is well-resourced, multi-sectorial, sustainable and has the cooperation of the public calls for innovative approaches, particularly at a time when financial resources, are stretched,” he said.

Asa mean to addresses such health issues, it was pointed that effective strategies against diseases in modern societies require coordinated and consistent efforts in all countries concerned with platforms for sharing knowledge among the critical components to realise this objective.

“We must work together to overcome the challenges we face – to mobilise, to ensure political will and to find the resources necessary to develop ways to address the outbreaks of infectious disease.”

Public engagement, he added, is also a contributing factor in the successes of health programmes, especially for diseases that target certain groups such as HIV and TB, whilst cooperation from different sectors of the government, such as transportation, agriculture, housing and education, is also vital towards supporting existing health programmes.

The 10t1 Meeting of the AEGCD, to take place until tomorrow, is attended by over 40 representatives from across the region and beyond, including officials from the Asean Secretariat, China, Japan as well as the Republic of Korea.

The AEGCD functions as a platform for Asean nations to share information and discuss activities that are related to the prevention and control of communicable diseases whilst also strengthening existing coordination mechanisms among the member states.