Thailand aims to serve as the new ASEAN Center for Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases (ACPHEED).
Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul announced the plan in Bali, Indonesia, during the 15th ASEAN Health Ministers Meeting (AHMM) and related meetings.
According to Anutin, six ASEAN member states have backed Thailand in the selection process, in which the kingdom is competing with Indonesia and Vietnam. ASEAN leaders later approved a proposal to establish ACPHEED. The center will serve as a hub to strengthen ASEAN’s regional capacity for responding to public health emergencies and emerging diseases.
ASEAN health ministers have also discussed a draft agreement concerning the issuance of health certificates for ASEAN travelers, even as these nations must still contend with COVID-19.
Anutin also informed the meeting that Thailand will prioritize strengthening the region’s health system and resiliency against emerging health threats.
During the meeting, the ASEAN Post-2015 Health Development Agenda, pertaining to new ASEAN public health strategies and implementation plans until 2025, was also approved.