The following is the intervention note from Malaysia by the YB Minister of Health Malaysia, which was read on his behalf by the Director General of Health Malaysia, on 12th October 2015 for the Report of WPRO Regional Director at the 66th Session of WPRO Regional Committee Meeting
66TH SESSION OF WPRO REGIONAL COMMITTEE MEETING,
12-16 OCT 2015
Title: THE WORK OF WHO IN THE WESTERN PACIFIC REGION,
Report of REGIONAL DIRECTOR : 1 July 2014 – 30 June 2015
Ref. Document: WPR/RC 66/2
Mr Chair, Regional Director Dr Shin and distinguished delegates,
- Over the years under the continuous and close collaboration between Member States and WHO, 1.8 billion population of the Western Pacific Region have benefitted from progress in the various areas of health.
- We saw remarkable progress in the strengthening of national health system, which directly contributed to the wider regional health security. We have reiterated the same point during last year meeting, when we were facing the Ebola threat, and we are convinced that the recent MERS-CoV outbreak have again underlined this fact.
- The MERS-CoV outbreak and the responses that followed, illustrated that a resilient health system, and regional collaboration are keys in containing communicable disease spread. International Health Regulations, IHR (2005) and the Asia Pacific Strategy for Emerging Diseases (APSED) regional framework remain relevant, and we congratulate the WPRO leadership and efforts in working with Member States to develop their core capacities.
- While we are facing with the continuous threat of both communicable and non-communicable diseases, the landscape of health is further challenged by the complexities of environmental and social determinants of health.
- Climate change poses threats, not only by increasing the vulnerability of our region to natural disasters, but also by geographical expansion of arbovirus infection, both within and among countries affected. Dengue – while does not capture the headline of world’s media, remains a continuous and serious health threat in the western pacific region.
- Being the current hotspot for the unprecedented world’s economic growth, our region is at the receiving end, of both the benefits and risks of globalization. Collective national experiences portrayed similar challenges ;
- While we enjoy better economic growth, the rapid and unplanned urbanization further compound the threat of dengue infection. The disease now is more aggressive, and the impact is more severe.
- Its pattern is transforming – what use to be an urban disease has now surfaced in rural areas as well – due to rapid mobility of people.
- The reintroduction of “Urban Health” agenda in this year meeting is thus, timely and highly relevant. Our national data illustrates that the threat of dengue remains focused in urban settings. This calls for an innovative approach that goes beyond “reactionary”, to one that focus on anticipation and risk mitigation. Our strategic planning must utilize not only epidemiological, but also environmental data such as climate change and urban planning.
Last but not least,
- We hope we have managed to convey the urgency of this matter. We welcome the anticipated agenda on dengue for the next 67th session of the regional committee meeting. Malaysia remains committed, and convinced that WPRO leadership is crucial, in tackling the continuous threat of arbovirus infection in this region.
With that, I thank you for your attention.
 During the 66th RCM, head of Malaysian delegates underline the importance of resilient national health system in facing the EBD threat.
 This year Regional Director report attributed the success in containing of MERS-CoV outbreak in view of strong national health system of Republic of Korea, and exportation of disease halted by implementation of IHR and APSED.
 Quoted from : The dengue strategic plan for Asia Pacific region. 59th RCM, WHO 2009.
 Malaysia experience shows that cumulative dengue cases has increased this year, an increment of 24.5% compared to last year in the same period. Dengue death has recorded an increase rate of 71.4% this year compared to the same period of last year.
 Quoted from : – YBMK Press Statement on launching of 3rd National CPG on Dengue
 Urban Health agenda in RCM this year goes beyond environmental health and safe cities. It also includes the highlight on climate changes, and arbovirus breeding threat.
 This is noted on the invitation letter to 66 RCM by WPRO RD, dated February 27, 2015