“Healthy People, Healthy ASEAN”

WE, the Ministers of Health of ASEAN Member States, representing Brunei Darussalam, the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Republic of Indonesia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, the Union of Myanmar, the Republic of the Philippines, the Republic of Singapore, the Kingdom of Thailand, the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, convened the 10th ASEAN Health Ministers Meeting on 22 July 2010 in Singapore.

RECALLING our vision of “Healthy ASEAN 2020” adopted at the 5th ASEAN Health Ministers Meeting held in April 2000 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, which was envisioned by 2020 “that health shall be at the centre of development and ASEAN cooperation in health shall be strengthened to ensure that our peoples are healthy in mind and body, and living in harmony in safe environments”;

REAFFIRMING our commitment to continue implementing key guiding principles and framework of “Healthy ASEAN 2020”, emphasizing health as a fundamental right of our peoples; health development is a shared responsibility and must involve greater participation and empowerment of the people, communities and institutions; and ASEAN cooperation shall strive to achieve social justice and equity in health development and solidarity in action towards a healthy paradigm that emphasizes health promotion and disease prevention;

SUPPORTIVE of the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) Blueprint adopted by the ASEAN Leaders at the 14th ASEAN Summit on 1 March 2009 in Chaam-Hua Hin, Thailand to focus our efforts on the social dimension of narrowing the development gaps through social welfare and protection, and more particularly to ensure food safety, ensure access to adequate and affordable healthcare, medical services and medicine, promote healthy lifestyles for the peoples of ASEAN, improve capability to address communicable diseases, and enhance pandemic preparedness and response;

UNITED by the common aim of improving health situation in the region, the 10th ASEAN Health Ministers Meeting discussed and exchanged views on the progress of implementation of joint activities in the health sector under the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Blueprint and agreed to the following resolutions:

We agree to strengthen our political commitment to intensify ASEAN cooperation in health development and to mobilise resources at the national, regional, and international levels;

We reiterate the need to implement the Declaration on Healthy Lifestyles as adopted by the 6th AHMM held in 2002 in Vientiane, which provided the Framework for ASEAN to work together to lead healthy lifestyles consistent with their values, beliefs and culture in a supportive environment by recognizing that socio-economic changes can have adverse impact on health and on efforts to promote healthy lifestyles;

We are pleased to note the achievements made by the ASEAN Senior Officials on Health Development in implementing regional activities, particularly in the areas of emerging infectious diseases, pandemic preparedness and response, HIV and AIDS, food safety, pharmaceuticals, and traditional medicine despite funding constraints;

We endorse the ASEAN Strategic Framework on Health and Development (2010-2015) as our guide in implementing ASEAN health cooperation activities to achieve our strategic objectives as enshrined in the ASCC Blueprint. The focus of the Strategic Framework is in four major areas: first, food safety; second, access to health care services which comprise pharmaceuticals, traditional medicines, maternal and child health, and migrants health; third, healthy lifestyle with emphasis on proactive, health promotive measures to prevent non-communicable diseases, and mental health; and fourth, communicable diseases and pandemic preparedness and response;

We thank Thailand and the Philippines for hosting the Planning Meetings in March and May 2010 respectively to finalise the ASEAN Regional Work Plan on Health Development (2010-2015);

We recognise that infectious diseases such as Influenza A (H1N1) and H5N1 will continue to be public health threats in the region. Noting that the Influenza A (H1N1) pandemic in most ASEAN Member States is already in the post-peak phase, we urge WHO to review the current pandemic alert level and to take into consideration severity as a criteria in determining alert levels. However, we urge Member States to continue surveillance and information sharing, as well as national measures such as public education on hygiene and vaccination.

We therefore, task the Senior Officials to workout an effective regional cooperative arrangements in the prevention, preparedness response to emerging infectious diseases as laid down in the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Blueprint 2009-2015;

We reaffirm our commitment as stipulated in the Declaration of the 8th ASEAN Health Ministers Meeting: ASEAN Unity in Health Emergencies, held in 2006 in Yangon, where we committed to ‘strengthening existing capabilities in each of our countries to prepare for these emergencies, and therefore endorsed the Minimum Standards on Joint Multisectoral Outbreak Investigation and Response, to develop a regional and national guidelines in coordinating procedures to mount a clear, effective, coordinated and timely response to emergencies in the spirit of ASEAN;

We noted the importance of risk communication as one of the strategies to effectively manage EID outbreaks and we endorse the establishment of the ASEAN Risk Communication Resource Centre in Malaysia; and we thank Malaysia for hosting the Centre;

We endorse the establishment of the ASEAN Plus Three Partnership Laboratories (APLs) to further strengthen the laboratory surveillance and networking in the ASEAN Plus Three Countries. We thank the National Institute of Infectious Diseases of Japan for providing their technical and financial support in this endeavour;

We noted that most of the emerging infectious diseases are of animal origin and acknowledged the need for greater collaboration between the animal health and the public health sectors on zoonoses. We therefore support the ASEAN Framework and Workplan for collaboration between the human and animal health sectors on emerging and neglected zoonotic diseases at both the regional and national levels;

We support the work of the multi-sectoral ASEAN Technical Working Group on Pandemic Preparedness and Response comprising focal points from the health, agriculture and disaster management sectors to enhance and promote coordination in pandemic preparedness and response at the regional and national levels;

We are concerned that dengue has affected millions of people worldwide and Southeast Asia is becoming the most seriously affected region. We acknowledge that increasing public awareness is one of the main strategies to reduce the risk of dengue transmission. We therefore endorse the ASEAN Dengue Day as an annual advocacy campaign day for dengue prevention and control at the regional and national level. We commit to support and promote the official launch of the ASEAN Dengue Day on 15 June 2011 and every year thereafter;

We noted that Indonesia is ready to host the official launch of the ASEAN Dengue Day on 15 June 2011 and all Member States should organise their own individual nation-wide Dengue-day related events on 15 June.

We welcome the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the ASEAN Secretariat and World Health Organisation (WHO) (2009-2013) as a strategic partnership that is important for ASEAN health cooperation. We acknowledge WHO’s technical expertise and its support for country level programmes;

We reaffirm the importance of forging strategic partnerships with Dialogue Partners and with international organizations including the World Health Organization (WHO), the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), World
Animal Health Organization (OIE), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), civil society organizations and others to address the challenges of health development;

We discussed the possibility of expanding the ASEAN health collaboration to involve other EAS countries. We agreed that the areas of collaboration must be aligned with the ASEAN Strategic Framework on Health Development (2010-2015) such as emerging infectious diseases, particularly field epidemiological training programme and vaccine production. We tasked the Senior Officials on Health Development to study how the collaboration can be implemented, taking an incremental approach on specific issues that can bring real benefits to the health of our people in ASEAN;

Next ASEAN Health Ministers Meeting

We look forward to further exchanges of views on joint collaboration in health development at our next Meeting in Thailand in 2012.