Regional nations review stance on public health

VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times/ANN) - Experts from Asean member countries and their development partners in the region met in Vientiane from October 17-19 for the 11th International Conference on Public Health among Greater Mekong Sub-Regional (GMS) Countries.

During the conference, a special session on ‘Join Hands to Collaborate on Public Health Research for Improving Health Equity among GMS Countries’ provided participants and research partners with the opportunity to discuss and link their research work together.

These discussions focused on the broad public health aspects of health equity issues in the region under the theme: ‘Improving Health Equity among Greater Sub-Mekong Region: A Public Health Challenge’.

Speaking at Friday’s opening ceremony, President of the University of Health Sciences, Dr Phouthone Vangkonevilay, said the conference’s over all objective was to enhance the quality and relevance of education and training programmes as well as research in public health among GMS countries.

“The conference aims to raise awareness, of current, emerging, and reemerging preventive public health issues and develop programmes of ac-tion for their resolution,” he said.

Other objectives were to share knowledge and experience in preventive public health among the diverse societies of the Mekong Sub-Region coun-tries, and relevant stakeholders, and to translate the knowledge into action and discuss approaches to improve health equity in the region.

The regional health vision until 2030 includes healthy lives for all with service coverage accessibility, justice quality, people understanding their own healthcare, and overall health reform.

This is related to the 2030 Sustainable Development Goal 3 “Good health and well being” for all ages which Laos was targeting, Dr Phouthone said.

He also noted Laos’ health development priorities in this regard, such as the national health insurance policy, and strengthening the quality of care for all, including vulnerable groups of society.

Organisers hoped the conference would provide a significant opportunity for all partners working on health-related fields to share and discuss their ideas, experience, and lessons on health improvement and development within the region as well as in Laos.

The best practices of projects and interventions, as well as health policy guidelines and plans with public health implications within the region,  were considered and accepted for an oral and poster presentation.

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