Second Meeting of the Technical Advisory Group on the Asia Pacific Strategy for Emerging Diseases (2010)
10 to 12 July 2012
Being at the epicentre of various health security risks, including infectious diseases with pandemic potential, the Western Pacific Region is faced with a formidable challenge, that, if not managed well, could have severe public health, social and economic consequences. Approximately 200 acute public health events have been detected, assessed and monitored annually over the past three years in the Region. More than 75% of the events were related to emerging diseases, chikungunya including avian influenza A(H5N1), influenza A(H1N1) 2009 pandemic, dengue and cholera outbreaks. The impact of disease outbreaks to people and communities has become the driving force in ensuring that there is a regional framework that facilitates collective efforts in building core capacity for prevention and control interventions.
The updated Asia Pacific Strategy for Emerging Diseases, or APSED 2010, endorsed at the sixty-first session of the WHO Regional Committee for the Western Pacific in 2010, builds directly on the significant progress already achieved under the earlier APSED 2005, and the lessons learnt from the pandemic preparedness and response. It was developed based on an intensive country- and regional-level consultative process, and serves as a common framework for national and regional capacity-building in both the South-East Asia and Western Pacific Regions. In order to maximize resources and efforts, the APSED 2010 addresses all health security-related issues, and consolidates them into one framework to meet the national core capacity requirements under the International Health Regulations or IHR (2005). It has eight focus areas for capacity development: (1) surveillance, risk assessment and response; (2) laboratories; (3) zoonoses; (4) infection prevention and control; (5) risk communications; (6) public health emergency preparedness; (7) regional preparedness, alert and response; and (8) monitoring and evaluation.
With WHO's initiative and strong commitment to having an effective regional mechanism in place, the Asia Pacific Technical Advisory Group (TAG) on Emerging Infectious Diseases was established in 2006. Since July 2006, the TAG has met annually to monitor overall implementation of APSED and IHR (2005) and to provide technical advice on priority actions in implementation. Under APSED 2010, the TAG continues to function as the key mechanism to provide technical advice on the implementation of the Strategy. The First Technical Advisory Group (TAG) on the Asia Pacific Strategy for Emerging Diseases (2010), held in July 2011, endorsed the APSED 2010 workplan and advised Member States to develop and implement national workplans for managing emerging diseases and public health emergencies in line with APSED 2010 and IHR (2005). Most Member States in the Region have convened their national planning workshops and commenced the implementation of their plans since 2011.
Under the IHR (2005), countries are obliged to meet all the national core capacity requirements by June 2012, with the extension mechanism in place. While most Member States in the Western Pacific Region have made significant progress, most resource-limited countries would need more time to meet the IHR requirements. The national workplans developed under APSED 2010 serves as a road map for countries to meet their IHR requirements, enable national capacity beyond international obligations, and ultimately ensure public health security. In light of developing and maintaining national core public health capacities required by IHR (2005), there is a critical need for the national workplans to be reviewed and updated further by Member States in order to ensure their steady progress towards fulfilling the IHR (2005) core capacity requirements no later than 2014.
The objectives of the meeting are:
- to review the status of IHR (2005)/APSED 2010 implementation, including the national progress towards fulfilling the IHR core capacity requirements under the APSED framework;
- to review the national APSED 2010 workplans of Member States including but not limited to those requesting an IHR extension until 2014, to establish all the IHR core capacities; and
- to recommend common priority activities to be carried out in the coming year until the next Technical Advisory Group meeting in 2013.