Countries required to partner in prevention of pandemic

2019-08-22 16:32:48

Ulaanbaatar /MONTSAME/. The 13th Biregional Meeting of National Influenza Centres and Influenza Surveillance in the Western Pacific and South-East Asia Region jointly organized by the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization kicked off on August 21.

Over 140 representatives of 28 countries such as the U.S, Australia, Japan, Republic of Korea, People’s Republic of China and Indonesia, specialists of the central and regional offices of WHO, and scholars of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the U.S, and the national reference laboratories for infectious diseases of Australia to discuss global pandemic influenza preparedness and countermeasures.


Minister D.Sarangerel: We must not forget that influenza caused the deaths of 50 million people worldwide


Opening the conference, Minister of Health D.Sarangerel said, “It has been over 100 years since the global spread of influenza that happened in 1918. We must not forget that the virus caused the deaths of 50 million people worldwide due to three breakouts. During this time of globalization where there is a high risk of a breakout with one virus is transmitted from one species to another, creating a new virus, it is required for countries to be always prepared, quickly exchanging information and work in partnership.

And it is for this reason that distinctive characteristic of influenza, cases of influenza in countries, surveillance, countermeasures of countries, laboratory diagnosis, immunization, pandemic preparedness, assessment of countermeasures and further measures of the two regions of WHO will be discussed at the conference.” 

Dr. Chin-Kei Lee: Countries must work in partnership for pandemic influenza preparedness

Acting Director for Emergency at the WHO Regional Office for the Western Pacific Dr. Chin-Kei Lee said, “Countries must work in partnership for pandemic influenza preparedness.

Thus, the international conference on this issue is held annually, with the 13th meeting being successfully held in Mongolia. When the healthcare system is kept at a good level and it is capable of protecting its citizens from infections and diseases, it will not be a big issue even when the issue at hand is quite serious. On the other hand, as infectious diseases are not kept within the border, partnership between countries must be prioritized.”

Deputy Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza Ian Barr said, “Australia’s climate is very similar to the climate of Mongolia. There were a large number of cases for seasonal influenza in 2019. We use our laboratory-based surveillance system for countermeasures against influenza. If there is a case where a person’s death was caused by influenza, we closely monitor our surveillance system to find its cause. This year, the influenza season is starting quite early. In our country, if a person over the age of 75 is contracted with the virus, they are immediately brought to the hospital.” 

Dr. and Prof. P.Nyamdavaa said, “The last global flu pandemic was ten years ago in 2009. It was for this reason that the countries of the world began to discuss what they should focus and partner for pandemic influenza preparedness. During this time of climate change, globalization, urbanization and increase in migration, influenza has begun to spread in various countries despite their borders. For instance, when the influenza A (H1N1) was registered as a new virus in 2009, it reached the level of a pandemic within just 3 months, covering over 100 countries.”

At the end of the three-day conference, a guidance book will also be published on ways to prevent cases of influenza, immunization, distinctive characteristics of influenza, and surveillance.

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