Greater Mekong Subregion Health Cooperation Strategy 2019–2023

Regional health cooperation is a priority under the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Economic Cooperation Program. Efforts to enhance regional cooperation and integration, while fundamental to economic growth in the subregion, expose GMS countries to an evolving layer of health challenges.

Increased mobility and trade, including trade in agricultural and food products, facilitates cross-border movement of disease agents and their vectors. Greater intraregional population movement brings risk of marginalization of migrant and mobile persons and their exclusion from social protections, most critically access to essential health services. Growth in investment for transport infrastructure and border zone development, while central to GMS country efforts to diversify their economies and integrate with regional value chains, carries inherent risk of adverse public health impacts.

In parallel with these threats, regional integration creates opportunities to draw on the subregion’s health leadership, human resource skills, and programming experience to address common health challenges.

Acknowledging the pivotal role of health cooperation to the GMS vision of an integrated, prosperous, and equitable subregion, the 22nd GMS Ministerial Conference endorsed the creation of a new GMS Working Group on Health Cooperation (WGHC) and the development of a GMS Health Cooperation Strategy.

The GMS Health Cooperation Strategy 2019–2023 (the Strategy) provides a framework to guide the collective efforts of GMS countries in tackling health issues impacting the subregion. Regional cooperation will focus on three priority outcomes:

(i) Improved GMS health system performance in responding to public health threats

(ii) Strengthened protection for vulnerable communities from the health impacts of regional integration

(iii) Enhanced human resource capacity to respond to priority health issues in the GMS

For more information, please read at Greater Mekong Subregion Health Cooperation Strategy 2019–2023

Ref: Asian Development Bank. (2019). Greater Mekong Subregion Health Cooperation Strategy 2019–2023. The Asian Development Bank.