Thailand enhances the efficiency in controlling the infectious diseases in ASEANThailand, joining WHO and AEC, enhances the efficiency in controlling the infectious diseases in ASEAN
Since this year marks the debut of ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), it is expected to stir the enthusiasm in Thai economy. At the same time, the medical academicians are concerned that it will cause wider spread of infectious diseases, which leads to incidence or new diseases, unless the controlling methods are effective enough.
Prof. Usa Thisyakorn, President of the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society of Thailand, (PIDST) as the Chairman of the 19th Annual Meeting of the PIDST revealed that, the PIDST, joining World Health Organization (WHO); Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute, the Thai Red Cross Society; Department of Disease Control, Ministry of Public Health; and Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, hosted this workshop to celebrate its 20th anniversary between April 30 and May 1, 2015, at Royal Cliff Hotels Group, Pattaya, Thailand
Being aware that the pediatric infectious disease is a major concern in ASEAN, the Society co-hosted the meeting with 10 ASEAN countries, attended by the President of the Pediatric Associations at national and regional levels as well as international key figures in the area of infectious disease, to focus on vaccination in ASEAN countries. Dr.Jean-Marie Okwo-Bele, WHO vaccination expert, gave the lecture on the “Vaccines for All Ages”
Prof. Usa explained that the incidence, such as new species of influenza, bird flu and Ebola, is inter-connected at regional and global level because several factors, such as various species of virus, changing population and migration of people around the world, affects the immunity, which can causes wider spread of disease. Therefore, effective disease control and prevention is crucial and requires the knowledge sharing among doctors and medical academicians.
Exhibited in this workshop were 12 outstanding pieces of Thai medical research, which extremely benefit the society and people in preventing the infectious diseases.For example,“The Rabies-Free World” by Dr.Wongwat Liulak, Director of Disease Control Department, Health Department, Bangkok Metropolitan Administration is aligned with One Health Project of WHO, whose main idea is to have man and animal live harmoniously together. Furthermore, WHO sets the target that the world will be free from rabies within 2020.
Another research discovered, for the first time in the world, that only one shot of booster dose is more effective for post-exposure rabies prevention.
Prof. TerapongTantawichien, Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, who conducted this research, presented his work in the meeting for the first time. In addition to this exciting piece, the audiences had a chance to learn from many more researches.
Prof. Usa gave the overview of vaccination in Thailand to prevent the infectious diseases. Currently, Thailand does very well on providing basic vaccine for children and adults to prevent 10 diseases, namely tuberculosis, Diphtheriae, Pertussis, Tetanus, Hepatitis B, Polio Encephalitis, Measles, German Measles and Mumps. The country is especially successful for protecting a lot of children. Furthermore, new vaccines, such as cervical cancer and acute diarrhea (by Rota virus), are being considered in some areas of Thailand. If the test proves to be cost effective, Disease Control Department, Ministry of Public Health, will use them for the whole country. However, what Thailand and the rest of the world fail to do is to cover the population in other ages, not only children. Although vaccine is crucial for all ages, Thai society is currently unaware of the vaccination in adults. That is why they do not receive a full course of vaccination. For some vaccines, especially for new diseases, only high-income people can reach the access to them because these people can afford to go to the private hospitals and select the coverage for more than 10 diseases mentioned above. On the other hand, the poor or uneducated people do not have a chance to access the vaccine and are not aware of its importance.
Prof. Usa concluded that this meeting would help the related parties to recognize that vaccination is crucial for people at all ages and should provide better coverage.