Improving emergency preparedness and response in the Asia–Pacific
Ben J Marais, Stephanie Williams, Ailan Li, Roderico Ofrin, Angela Merianos, Joel Negin, Jenny Firman, Robin Davies and Tania Sorrell
Addressing regional health security threats require functional health systems that have integrated surveillance and response capacity, as specified by the International Health Regulations (IHR).
Country-level IHR implementation is often suboptimal with limited intra-regional and inter-regional coordination and collaboration.
Joint external evaluations provide multidimensional country-level assessments, but human and animal disease surveillance data are poorly integrated and subnational vulnerability is rarely considered.
Retaining political commitment in between outbreaks/disasters requires better informed leadership and recognition of Health Security as a standing priority.
Weak health systems require increased domestic investment, coordinated international assistance and a commitment to universal health coverage, including investment in quality-assured laboratory infrastructure and reporting systems.