SE Asia ills; Diseases, climate change: WHO

KATHMANDU: South-East Asia is currently facing a number of challenges like rising number of diseases like diabetes and high maternal mortality and pandemic influenza (H1N1) and climate change, the World Health Organisation said today.

A press statement issued by the WHO Regional Office of South Asia stated that the current global financial crisis and lack of resources have drawn its attention to an “evidence-based approach” to health.

The WHO regional office has sought “effective response” for addressing these challenges in South Asia.

The challenges require an analytical approach and a good understanding of disease distribution and factors contributing to its spread and severity, the statement said.

WHO is bringing together over 300 health professionals from 11 member states starting March 8 in the South-East Asia region at a regional conference to promote the use of health information or epidemiological evidence for setting priorities, formulating and implementing health policies.

“Epidemiology is about the interplay and the interactions between human hosts, disease agents and their environments.

It serves as a rational, logical foundation for public health and preventive medicine,” Dr Samlee Plianbangchang, WHO’s Regional Director for South-East Asia, said in the press statement.