Menampilkan postingan dari Oktober, 2016

Asian nations plan fund to better prepare for health emergencies

By Nita Bhalla

NEW DELHI, Sept 9 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Eleven countries in South and East Asia on Friday agreed to establish an emergency fund to strengthen their health services to better respond to outbreaks of diseases, including emerging viruses such as Zika, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Friday.

Made up of India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, South Korea, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Timor-Leste, the South East Asia region is highly susceptible to disasters such as floods which can result in disease outbreaks.

The region is also threatened by a range of emerging diseases such as SARS, MERS CoV, pandemic influenza and Zika, say experts, adding that countries remain ill-prepared to effectively contain an outbreak should it occur.

The WHO said while nations already contributed to a fund to tackle health emergencies such as outbreaks of cholera or diarrhea in the aftermath of disasters, it was crucial to have finance available to help countrie…