WHO : Evidence is essential for decision-making in health

PR 1502

The current global financial crisis and lack of resources draws attention to the need for an evidence-based approach to health. Climate change, pandemic influenza (H1N1) 2009, the rising numbers of diseases like diabetes, and high maternal-child mortality are some of the challenges faced by the countries in South-East Asia. An effective response to these challenges requires an analytical approach and a good understanding of disease distribution and factors contributing to its spread and severity.

“Epidemiology is about the interplay and the interactions between human hosts, disease agents and their environments. It serves as a rational, logical foundation for public health and preventive medicine,” said Dr. Samlee Plianbangchang, WHO’s Regional Director for South-East Asia.

Epidemiology provides an analytical approach for appropriate and evidence-based public health actions. It is clear that epidemiological evidence played a pivotal role in the battle against smallpox. Even before the HIV virus was identified, the mode of transmission for HIV was demonstrated through epidemiological investigations, saving millions of lives. Epidemiology is helping to identify prevention policies and programmes.

WHO is bringing together over 300 health professionals from 11 Member States in the South-East Asia Region at a regional conference to promote the use of health information or epidemiological evidence for setting priorities, formulating and implementing health policies.

The conference seeks to create an opportunity to share experiences and discuss the application of evidence-based and epidemiological principles for public health action.

What: Regional Conference on Epidemiology

When: 8 -10 March 2010

Where: Hotel Taj Palace, New Delhi

For more information contact:

Ms Vismita Gupta-Smith
Public Information and Advocacy Officer
WHO South-East Asia Regional Office (SEARO)
New Delhi
Tel: 91-11-23309401
Mobile: +91 9871329861
E-mail:guptasmithv@searo.who.int

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