U.S. and Thailand strengthen partnership against pandemics

“Thailand and the U.S. plan to strengthen their partnership in public health and focus on preventing and fighting emerging infectious diseases,” said Director of America’s Centers for Disease Control (CDC) during a meeting in Bangkok with the Kingdom’s Minister of Public Health.
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky met with Thailand’s Minister of Public Health Anutin Charnvirakul at the Bamrasnaradura Infectious Disease Institute in Thailand to commemorate their joint efforts to contain the spread of the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) virus 20 years ago.
“The emergence of SARS and the threat it posed led Thailand to develop and put in place infectious disease surveillance systems. The bilateral cooperation will focus on preparedness to cope with newly emerging and re-emerging diseases,” said Walensky.
Those surveillance systems played an important part in Thailand’s effective campaign to control the spread of the most recent infectious disease threat: COVID-19.
Nonetheless, despite dire predictions from many epidemiologists and public health experts, COVID-19 never reached the technical level of an epidemic in the Kingdom and remained at the status of an outbreak.
The visit by the CDC director was part of several visits and exchanges expected to mark the 190th Anniversary of Thailand-U.S. Diplomatic Relations this year. This is the 43rd year of formal cooperation in the field of public health.
Thailand has been praised by the United Nations and the World Health Organization (WHO) for developing one of the highest quality public health systems for a developing or middle-income nation. They have cited the Thai system as a model for other developing countries.
Photo courtesy of https://www.cdc.gov/globalhealth/stories/2022/cares-act-photo-essay.html