ASEAN countries urged to invest in centre for public health emergencies hinh anh 1A COVID-19 testing booth in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Photo: Xinhua/VNA)
Kuala Lumpur (VNA) – The Malaysian Prime Minister’s Special Advisor on Public Health Dr Jemilah Mahmood has urged all ASEAN countries to invest in the establishment of the ASEAN Centre for Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases (ACPHEED) to fortify regional preparedness and response capacity.

She made the statement in a webinar entitled “Responding and Preparing for Natural Hazards under the COVID-19 Pandemic: Sharing Challenges and Lessons from Malaysia and Japan” organised by Universiti Teknologi Malaysia's Malaysia Japan International Institute of Technology (MJIIT) on March 17.

The region should have its own so-called centre for disease control and prevention, she said, this is the opportunity since Japan has funded the establishment of this kind of centre.

This requires all governments in the region to invest in the centre, so ASEAN will then not be facing issues, such as vaccine manufacturing, test kits production, detection of cases, and others, she said.

She said the establishment of such a centre was extremely important as ASEAN is one of the most impacted regions, continued to be confronted by threats of new and re-emerging infectious diseases, as well as disaster.

Meanwhile, she applauded Japan as a respected country in managing disaster preparedness and disaster risk reduction, in terms of policy level and investment in the matter./.