WHO backs joint efforts to save lives in southeast AsiaMarch 9th, 2011 - 5:44 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, March 9 (IANS) As the southeast Asian region accounts for 26 percent of the world population and continues to struggle with a huge disease burden, the World Health Organisation (WHO) Wednesday called for regional cooperation to fight the challenges in the health sector.
The WHO is organising a three-day conference from March 16-18 on “Partners for Health in South-East Asia” in the capital to strengthen regional collaboration for health.
The conference will engage the WHO and partners on priority health issues.
Partners from 11 member states — Bangladesh, Bhutan, North Korea, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Timor-Leste — along with representatives from donor countries, multilateral and intergovernmental organisations, foundations, corporations and research and academic institutions are expected at the conference.
According to WHO, 50 children under five years of age die every hour in southeast Asia due to diarrhoea which is a leading cause of child mortality in the region, second only to pneumonia.
The region accounts for 70 percent of the world’s malnourished children. The incidence of low birth weight is still high at 30 percent.
A third of global maternal deaths occur in this region. In many countries, health systems are weak.
“These diseases of poverty cannot be prevented and controlled by the health sector alone. Partnerships are therefore needed from every sector of society to successfully fight these diseases,” said Samlee Plianbangchang, WHO’s regional director for southeast Asia.
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Tags: academic institutions, child mortality, diarrhoea, disease burden, donor countries, health sector, health systems, india indonesia, low birth weight, malnourished children, maternal deaths, nepal sri lanka, priority health issues, regional collaboration, regional cooperation, south east asia, southeast asia, southeast asian region, world health organisation, world population