Health Cooperation

Countries in the Greater Mekong Subregion aim for Sustainable Development Goals for health. Through the Working Group on Health Cooperation, GMS countries are taking comprehensive, coordinated and proactive approaches to address regional health issues.


The Greater Mekong Subregion still experiences high incidence of communicable diseases and drug-resistant microorganisms. GMS countries also suffer from inefficient health systems due to lack of synergies, economies of scale, and scope; and there are few common solutions to common health problems.

The Working Group on Health Cooperation seeks to address collective action problems of regional health investments and limited resources for health that tend to prioritize national investments.

Regional health cooperation initiatives in the Greater Mekong Subregion focus on three strategic pillars:

Strategic Pillar 1: Health security as a regional public good tackles the subregion’s vulnerability to acute public health events. Ensuring robust national health systems with capacity to prevent, detect and respond to transnational health threats is the cornerstone of health security.

Strategic Pillar 2: Health impacts of connectivity and mobility responds to health challenges stemming from an increasingly interconnected GMS. Strengthening health systems in border areas where migrant and mobile populations pass and reside is an entry point for programming. Also includes. integrating health impact assessment during project planning and implementation of GMS urban and transport infrastructure projects.

Strategic Pillar 3: Health workforce development builds on the subregion’s existing human resource capacity to address common health challenges. Strong leadership in turn opens opportunities for intraregional capacity building, utilizing the subregions’ depth of health human resource and health programming experience to tackle shared health issues and enhance country efforts to attain Sustainable Development Goal targets.

Related


Focal Persons at the Asian Development Bank

  • Rikard Elfving
    Human and Social Development Division,
    South Asia Department

Other Concerned Staff & Consultants

  • Pinsuda Alexander
    Regional Cooperation and Operations Coordination Division,
    Southeast Asia Department
  • Mario Randolph Dacanay
    Human and Social Development Division,
    Southeast Asia Department
  • Rowena Sancio
    Regional Cooperation and Operations Coordination Division,
    Southeast Asia Department/GMS Secretariat

Send inquiries to GMS Secretariat.


Human Resource Development

After more than 20 years, the Working Group on Human Resource Development was restructured in 2017 to focus on health, given the strategic importance of regional cooperation in this area.


Consequent to the review of the GMS Institutional Framework in 2016 and a separate review of the Strategic Framework and Action Plan for Human Resource Development in the GMS 2013–2017, GMS ministers endorsed the creation of the Working Group on Health Cooperation in 2017.

Human resource development, however, continues to be an important sector in the Greater Mekong Subregion. At an extraordinary meeting of the Working Group on Human Resource Development in Bangkok on 4 July 2017, participants agreed on the following key points:

  • Refocus the working group and its approach, given the new strategic direction toward health cooperation.
  • Continue to respond to demand for analysis and similar initiatives in higher education at the country level.
  • Cooperate with other development partners with expertise on labor and migration.
  • Integrate social development across all sectors of the GMS.
  • Develop the scope for a new Working Group on Health Cooperation.

Related



Regional Meeting: One Health in the Greater Mekong Subregion: Where are we now and where next?

The Asian Development Bank and the Nossal Institute for Global Health hosted a virtual meeting titled, “One Health in the Greater Mekong Subregion: Where are we now and where next?” on 3 June 2021 to share lessons learned in the use of multisectoral One Health approaches and priority actions identified under the TA 9571-REG:  Strengthening Regional Health Cooperation in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS)

Events

Developing economies in Southeast Asia can benefit from action in key policy areas: investment in green infrastructure, digiital transformation, big data , and  revenue mobilization through tax reform

Green Investments, Revenue Mobilization, Big Data Key to Southeast Asia’s COVID-19 Economic Recovery

Southeast Asian countries can benefit from investments in green infrastructure, digital transformation, big data, and revenue mobilization through tax reform as the region recovers from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, said Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Masatsugu Asakawa at the second Southeast Asia Development Symposium.

News Releases

Southeast Asia Development Symposium (SEADS) 2021: Innovation through Collaboration: Planning for Inclusive Post-COVID-19 Recovery

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and its partners will collectively zero in on strategies and policy responses that countries can adopt to lay the groundwork for post-COVID-19 recovery at the upcoming Southeast Asia Development Symposium (SEADS) Innovation through Collaboration: Planning for Inclusive Post-COVID-19 Recovery

GMS in the News

Pandemic partners: Regional cooperation has helped Asia and the Pacific mitigate and recover from COVID-19

The region’s success with decades of growth and poverty reduction is due in large part to the international movement of trade, capital, people, knowledge, and resources – not only within the region but with the rest of the world. This type of regional cooperation is also a powerful tool in addressing the pandemic.

 

ADB Blogs

The 8th Mekong–RoK Business Forum was held in-person in Hanoi, Viet Nam, and online. Photo by TTXVN via Viet Nam Plus.

Mekong–Republic of Korea Business Forum Facilitates Trade Partnership

The 8th Mekong–Republic of Korea (RoK) Business Forum acknowledged how the RoK and the Mekong countries sustained their trade to 2019 levels amid the pandemic by upholding their trade relations. The Forum was held on 4 December in-person in Hanoi, Viet Nam, and online. 

GMS in the News