China and WHO collaborate to fight emerging infectious diseases
The Chinese Health Ministry, the Guangdong Provincial Government and
the World Health Organisation will today launch the new WHO Collaborating Centre
for Surveillance, Research and Training on Emerging Infectious
The centre will form part of the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in
Guangdong Province (GCDC).
A key focus for the new centre is disease
surveillance and prevention. This includes exploring ways of enhancing
epidemiological and virological surveillance through pilot projects, and
programmes aimed at strengthening the integration of current surveillance
systems. The centre will also aim to further strengthen the capacity of
the Guangdong CDC laboratory to detect emerging infectious diseases, including
Another important platform of the centre is to help carry
out operational and epidemiological research and studies in areas such as the
animal origins of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), the human-animal
interface in influenza transmission and efforts to estimate the disease burden
of influenza and other infections.
The creation of the new centre
provides a training base in Guangdong and other southern provinces of China in
emerging infectious diseases. It is hoped that this centre will eventually
expand to become a training base for neighbouring countries as well. This
would fit within the overall context of the Asia Pacific Strategy for Emerging
Diseases (APSED), a collaborative effort between WHO's Western Pacific and
South-East Asian regions.
Among those expected to attend the launch
are Vice-Minister Huang Jiefu of the Ministry of Health of China; Dr Shigeru
Omi, WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific; Dr Deng Feng, Director of
the WHO collaborating centre; Dr Ah Sian Tee, WHO Director for the Western
Pacific for Combating Communicable Diseases; and Dr Henk Bekedam, WHO
Representative in China.
"The WHO collaborating centre in Guangdong
is a milestone in China's contribution to global public health," said
Vice-Minister Huang. "It reflects our country's commitment to playing a
prominent role in this regard, at an especially critical moment in public health
"We know from SARS and avian influenza that what happens in
one country affects another," said Dr Omi. "China is helping WHO and the
world implement lessons learnt from recent emerging infectious diseases for the
national, regional and global public health good."
To comment, login here
Or register to be able to comment.