Strengthening Virology Research in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations: Preparing for Future Pandemics

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  • 1 Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia;
  • | 2 School of Medicine, Centro Escolar University, Manila, Philippines;
  • | 3 Department of Global Health and Development, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom;
  • | 4 Faculty of Management and Development Studies, University of the Philippines Open University, Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region is known to be a global hotspot to viral outbreaks because of many factors. To limit the impact of future outbreaks, it is crucial for the ASEAN governments to strengthen regional virology research capacity. The ASEAN governments have collaborated in several virology initiatives, with the most recent being the establishment of the ASEAN Regional Center for Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases. However, several challenges, including technology disparities, nationalistic tendencies, and the lack of public acceptance toward virus sharing, need to be addressed to maximize the region’s collaboration potential in virology research. We recommend the governments to 1) prioritize the strengthening of research capacities; 2) develop stronger cooperation and possible centralization of efforts on top of national capacities; 3) develop an equitable and secure research framework; and 4) improve the public awareness regarding the importance of regional public health responses.

Author Notes

Address correspondence to Adriana Viola Miranda, Faculty of Medicine, University of Indonesia, Jalan Salemba Raya No. 4, Central Jakarta, Greater Jakarta Region, Indonesia, 10430. E-mail: adriana.viola@ui.ac.id

Authors’ addresses: Adriana Viola Miranda and Lowilius Wiyono, Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia, E-mails: adriana.viola@ui.ac.id and lowilius.wiyono@alumni.ui.ac.id. Ian Christopher N. Rocha and Trisha Denise D. Cedeño, School of Medicine, Centro Escolar University, Manila, Philippines, E-mails: rocha1750018@ceu.edu.ph and cedeno1750033@ceu.edu.ph. Don Eliseo Lucero-Prisno III, Department of Global Health and Development, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom, and Faculty of Management and Development Studies, University of the Philippines Open University, Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines, E-mail: don-eliseo.lucero-prisno@lshtm.ac.uk.

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