The health system in most countries of WHO South-East Asia (SEA) Region face a serious challenge with the current convergence of factors such as the recent economic crisis, climate change, emergence of new infectious agents, rising burden of non-communicable diseases, and the continuing poor health indicators, especially the high child and maternal mortality. The situation has been further aggravated by the increasing emphasis on urban facilities for tertiary care. This focus is not limited to the private sector; public sector too spends the vast majority of its budget on urban hospital based care.
To respond effectively to these challenges, strategic thinking and strengthening of public health infrastructure and capacity is required today, as never before. This calls for enhancing efficiency of public health system, evidence based prioritisation and focusing on Equity and Social Justice in order to protect the poor and the most vulnerable populations. A basic tool for such decision making is Epidemiology. Epidemiology is the science that focuses on the distribution of health and of the determinants of deviations from health in populations.
The IEASEA Region website is an opportunity to bring together various stakeholders and create valuable learning experience on how to provide quality health services which reach out to all the population, regardless of their status, poverty, and location, with equity and social justice as prime guiding principles.
Believing strongly that the tool of epidemiology has the potential to empower scientists and programme managers to accurately and reliably gather evidence about the relevance, severity, frequency of occurrence and course of specific diseases in the community, the website seeks to create an opportunity to demonstrate, share experiences and discuss about the application of epidemiological principles for public health action.
The main objective is to promote the role of epidemiology for public health action and advocate for its application for national program development and management, be it communicable diseases, non-communicable diseases, maternal and child health, environmental health or health system development.