“No single country can manage infectious diseases alone,” said Dr Ailan Li, Medical Officer of Health Security and Emergencies Division with WHO - Western Pacific Regional Office. Dr Li emphasised that infectious diseases do not respect national borders. Therefore, countries and regions should be more serious in efforts to strengthen global surveillance systems for tackling future pandemic threats.

Dr Li made her remarks at the public talk “Regional Integration and Emerging and Re-emerging Diseases’ Surveillance in Asia and Europe.” The talk, held on 27 January 2011 in Singapore, was organised by the ASEF Public Health Network in partnership with S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS). This public talk was chaired by Associate Professor Ralf Emmers, Acting Head of the NTS-RSIS.

Dr Anita Davies, Public Health Specialist, International Organization for Migration, underlined the importance of including migrants in national public health policies and frameworks so that they have better access to healthcare services. According to Dr Bill Durodié, Senior Fellow and Coordinator for the Health and Human Security Programme at the Centre for Non-traditional Security Studies (NTS)-RSIS, one lesson learnt from the H1N1 pandemic was the need for more effective and flexible surveillance systems.

Listen to the podcast of the public talk