New Delhi: India and nine south-east Asian countries have decided to come together under the World Health Organisation - South East Asian Regional Organisation (WHO-SEARO) to defeat the threat of emerging diseases across the world.
“The research platform will be provided with technical support by WHO which will also act as coordinator,” Dr RR Gangakhedkar, director, epidemic diseases, at Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), told Hindustan Times.
Due to increased mobility and migrations, epidemic disease patterns were becoming more or less similar in countries which shared borders, he added.
Citing the example of the Zika virus infection which was successfully prevented from spreading, he said that India has taken the lead in this initiative to understand these issues better.
Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Maldives, Indonesia, DPR Korea, Myanmar and Nepal are the nine nations that have collaborated with India in the mission.
“Given India’s success in curbing international outbreaks such as Zika and the Nipah virus infections, Asian countries have decided to come together and selected India to lead the initiative. India (ICMR) will be the secretariat right now; later other countries too will get the chance,” HT quoted the senior ICMR.
In association with the WHO, ‘RESEARCH - Regional Enabler for South-East Asia Research Collaboration for Health’ was launched on August 29 and will run in the nine other countries of the region.