Asean disease control centre mooted

  • Nation
  • Friday, 25 Apr 2003


PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia has proposed that a centre for disease control and prevention (CDC) be set up for the Asean region to effectively fight any new outbreak, said Health Minister Datuk Chua Jui Meng. 

“We can pool our resources and have a centre where we can fight the outbreak of any new pathogens that arise,” he said when briefing local and foreign investors on the SARS situation. 

Also present were National Economic Action Council executive director Datuk Mustapa Mohamed and Health Ministry deputy director-general Datuk Dr Ismail Merican. 

Asked if a proposal for the CDC would be brought up at the Asean+3 health ministers meeting on SARS this weekend, Chua said the ministry was still going through the main points of discussion. 

On the heavy criticism that China received in its handling of the crisis, he said Malaysia had always worked closely with its neighbours. 

“China and Malaysia are close friends. And they have shown their commitment by coming to the Asean+3 meeting. China has suffered and we will listen during the course of the meeting to learn from each other,” he said. 

To a question whether Malaysia has a good crisis management team with affiliation to international bodies to combat advanced diseases such as SARS, he said: 

“We have a strong team with capabilities developed as a result of fighting diseases such as JE, Nipah and Coxsackie.”  

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