- Hue City, Vietnam, 29 - 30 October, 2009 - Asian Development Bank and Institut Pasteur, through the Greater Mekong Sub-region Communicable Diseases Control and SISEA projects, (link to website), respectively, have joined forces to support the „First GMS forum on Japanese Encephalitis/viral Encephalitis prevention and control: achievements and orientation‰, which was held on October 29-30, 2009 in the historical city of Hue, Vietnam. The forum was opened in the presence of representatives of the Ministries of Health of Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and China. Scientists from the International Network of Pasteur Institutes, as well as from the International Vaccine Institute, Nagasaki University, National Institute of Infectious Diseases of Japan, REDI Centre, University of Malaya, US-CDC, Fort Collins and WHO are also attending this important initiative that has been organized by the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology (NIHE) in Vietnam.
The main objectives of the Forum are to review:
the disease burden and control & prevention activities in the region; lessons learnt from the use of vaccines for Japanese encepahlaitis in the region; existing diagnostic tools for viral encephalitis; the epidemiology of other pathogens of acute encephalitis; current funding for the control of viral encephalitis
The forum started with a presentation of the current situation, the limitations and challenges that Cambodia, China, Laos and Vietnam are facing to solve the public health problem caused by Viral Encephalitis in the region. Recent advances in diagnosis techniques, vaccine development as well as possibilities of financial support to improve the situation were also on the agenda. The Forum is expected to issue a series of recommendations and agreements to foster regional cooperation among the different actors, and to set priorities for concrete initiatives aimed at easing the burden caused by Japanes Encepalitis and Viral Encephalitis in the Great Mekong Sub Region.