The preventive medicine bodies of Vietnam , Laos and Cambodia agreed on a plan that will coordinate their actions in combating infectious diseases, especially Ebola, at the shared border during a conference in the central city of Da Nang on December 4.

Addressing the event, Deputy Head of the Ministry of Health’s Department for Preventive Medicine Department Dang Quang Tuan shared Vietnam ’s lessons drawn from health quarantine activities along the border as part of bilateral health quarantine agreements and international health regulations.

Emerging infectious diseases are changing complicatedly in the region and the world, requiring stronger cooperation and more information sharing among countries to seek effective response measures, he stated.

The health care sectors of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia should foster partnership in preventing and controlling contagious diseases, especially in activities within the framework of a Asian Development Bank-funded project to avoid and fight communicable diseases in the Mekong Sub-region, said Tuan.

Participants at the event also heard reports on disease developments as well as the supervision of the three countries in the 2012-14 period, whole proposing ways to better control the diseases in the future.

They pointed out that the coordination among the three countries in the work remained poor, causing a high number of patients infected by contagious diseases and high fatality.

According to Ngu Duy Nghia from the National Institute for Hygiene and Epidemiology, there are only 27 quarantine stations lying along 3,000 kilometers of borderline shared by the three countries, making it difficult for the control of epidemics.

Bun Sreng from the Cambodia Centre for Disease Control and Prevention proposed that the three countries set up a system to collect health data along with intensifying health quarantines and communications at border gates.

Pham Cong Tien, a representative of the Central Highlands Institute for Hygiene and Epidemiology, suggested that the health sectors of localities along the shared border meet every six months to exchange information. In emergency cases, they should contact daily and weekly via email or telephone.-VNA