Asia-Pacific: Closing the MDG gap on health

Margaret Chan, director-general at the World Health Organization, is among the participants at this year’s Asia Pacific Development Summit. Photo by: Russell Watkins/Department for International Development / CC BY-SA

A three-day summit focused on closing the gap in health-related Millennium Development Goals in Asia and the Pacific kicks off today, Sept. 3.

Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, this year’s Asia Pacific Development Summit is taking place in Jakarta, Indonesia. The event aims to explore the role of the private sector in addressing health challenges in the region, with the theme focusing on public-private partnerships.

Among the high-level participants are World Health Organization Director-General Margaret Chan, ASEAN Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan and Indonesian Vice President Boediono. Regional donors and members of the business community and nongovernmental organizations from several countries  not just from ASEAN member countries  are also in attendance.

It is still unclear if there are pledges expected at the event, but organizers, which include the ASEAN Foundation, are expecting participants to come up with a set of recommendations that will help the region meet health-related MDGs.

Some of the issues set to be tackled at the event include addressing infectious diseases via collaborative public-private approaches, curbing counterfeit drugs distribution, Asia’s role in improving global health priorities and identifying strategies that will help improve people’s access to health care services, according to a press release.

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About the author

  • Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.