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Regional cooperation on health care services

A two-day meeting began on Sunday in Dhaka, which is being attended by health ministers of 11 South East Asian countries. The agenda is to discuss ways to improve// collaboration to develop health care services in South East Asia.

This meeting was inaugurated by the Bangladeshi Prime minister; Begum Khaleda Zia. She appealed for a stronger and lasting cooperation to make healthcare accessible to everyone in this region without delay.

"We must find ways to make more efficient use of whatever resources we have for our health sector. Development partners and technical support agencies have a vital role to play in this regard," Zia told the health ministers.

Revised strategy for malaria control in the region, global fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria pandemic, influenza preparedness and response, recovery activities in countries affected by the earthquake and tsunami and regional commitment on strengthening public health work force in the countries, are some of the issues of mutual interest, that will be discussed by the ministers in the meeting.

A Dhaka declaration comprising the current health concerns of South East Asian region, will be drafted by these ministers.

The 56th session of the regional committee for the region will succeed the health ministers’ meeting. It will be held from Aug. 22nd to 25th.

Dr.Samlee Plianbangchang, regional director, World Health Organization (WHO), will submit a report on the work of WHO in the South East Asian Region in the last year. Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Timor-Leste, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand comprise the South East Asian countries.

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