Description: This issue of the Regional Health Forum explores some of the many aspects related to the 2007 World Health Day theme of International Health Security and its slogan Invest in Health, Build a Safer Future. The selection of articles demonstrate how such diverse topics as eradication of diseases, poverty and emergencies are all interlinked in the larger context of international health security.
The article Control of Diseases - Post-Elimination/Eradication Strategies for Sustaining Disease Control Activities presents a historical focus on the achievements in Myanmar in this regard and raises some important points regarding the risk of reemerging diseases.
The threats posed to international health security from (re-) emerging diseases is also a central focus in the article International Health Regulations (2005).
Indonesia is one of the countries of the Region that has recent experience with dealing with an emerging disease with the potential to threaten international health security. How this crisis has been managed is the focus of the article Avian Influenza H5N1 in Indonesia.
That crisis situations can sometimes facilitate long-lasting development gains is the central theme in the article Emergency Response for Sustainable Development - A Case Study of the Gujarat Earthquake.
Poverty is a major contributing factor to the communicable disease burden, and this issue is explored in Health, Poverty and Human Security: Illustrations from Malaria in the SEA Region.
Climate Change - A Threat to Global Health Security: Case Study of Bhutan takes a different perspective on the contributing factors to the trends of communicable diseases, natural hazards and pollution.
The title of the article Water Security: Life-Giving, Life-Saving makes a very clear point on the essential role the provision of safe water plays when it comes to ensuring health security of people and nations.
Finally, the last article ties together a number of issues dealt with separately in the other articles. In Enhancing Health Security: The Case of Healthy Settings in Thailand it is demonstrated how the concept of healthy settings successfully integrates health security challenges into an overall approach to sustainable development.
Although these articles cover a wide range of topics, they do not attempt to cover all aspects of international health security. Nor do they aim to analyse all hazards and specific challenges that are unique to any of the countries of the Region.