InterAksyon.com
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MANILA – As big cities in Asia grapple with deadlier, faster-spreading infections, health professionals, medical associations and researchers, and officials in at least 13 cities in the region will gather in the Philippines next month to share lessons and best practices on improving the defense against disease.

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will host the international forum—its second time to host such—meant to discuss current developments in the prevention of infectious diseases in Asia. 

The 9th Annual Conference of the Asian Network of Major Cities (ANMC) 21 will tackle Counter-measures to Combat Infectious Diseases in Asia at the Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria Hotel in Quezon City on Feb.4.

Theme of the conference of the 13-member-cities of ANMC 21 is “Meeting City-Level Challenges to Achieve Millennium Development Goals on Infectious Diseases,” MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said.

He added in a statement: “Once again, we at the MMDA are honored to lead this international conference. We are hoping to learn and contribute in ANMC 21’s continuous efforts to stop the spread of diseases in the Asian region.” 

Now on its 9th year, the Counter-measures to Combat Infectious Diseases in Asia Forum will focus this year—the 14th time it is being held–on relevant programs to control five infectious diseases in the region that have seen serious outbreaks in recent years – the Multi-Drug Resistant Tuberculosis (MDR-TB), HIV/AIDS, Dengue, Leptospirosis and Pandemic Influenza.

The infections have spread more easily among bigger populations in recent years as borders between countries were more easily breached with the success of budget air fares alongside the easing of visa rules as countries encouraged tourism.

The MMDA chief said each member-city of ANMC 21 will present recent medical updates and current policies to combat further outbreaks of infectious diseases and discuss possible joint research and surveys.

“To foster learning and exchange of ideas, we will also invite selected guests with knowledge and expertise on the topics to provide additional insights into the trends, policies, challenges, and innovative actions against infectious diseases,” Tolentino said.

ANMC21, which organizes the annual ACMC and the Counter-measures to Combat Infectious Diseases in Asia, is an organization of Asia’s largest capital cities working together on urban planning, sustainability, and crisis management. It was advocated by then Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara in August 2000.

The member-cities of ANMC21 are Bangkok, Delhi, Hanoi, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Metropolitan Manila, Seoul, Singapore, Taipei, Tokyo, Tomsk, Ulaanbaatar, and Yangon.