ASEAN Opens Secretariat for Medical Emergencies in Thailand

ASEAN Opens Secretariat for Medical Emergencies in Thailand
26 August 2022 -

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has announced the establishment of a secretariat of the ASEAN Centre for Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases (ACPHEED) in Bangkok to improve preparedness for public health emergencies.

ACPHEED comes in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused serious economic damage and stressed regional healthcare systems.

A meeting will be held in Luang Prabang, Lao PDR, to choose the ACPHEED Secretary General and team, which will include specialists and medical professionals from all 10 nations. The official launching of ACPHEED will be in November 2022.

The ACPHEED project was initiated in 2020 with a feasibility study supported by the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund. Japan donated $50 million for the project last year, and Australia has committed to helping fund the center. Thailand and fellow ASEAN members will pay up to $5 million annually to support ACPHEED operations.

Mr. Anutin Charnvirakul, Thailand’s Minister of Health said the ACPHEED will serve as a center of excellence to strengthen ASEAN regional capacity in preventing, detecting, and responding to public health emergencies and emerging diseases.