BANGKOK, 5 February 2015 – The Ministry of Public Health has set a target to train 350 epidemiologists within 10 years’ time in order to effectively deal with emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases in the future.
According to Public Health Minister, Pro. Dr. Ratchata Ratchatanavin, Thailand currently has only 128 epidemiologists, far less than the world standard. The ministry aims to train medical doctors, veterinarians and experts in wild and domestic animals to be able to trace the patterns, causes, and effects of diseases on human health. He expressed hope that Thailand could be a hub in the field of epidemiology by 2020.
The Department of Disease Control organized the 22nd national seminar on epidemiology in Bangkok on Thursday, aimed at enhancing the nation’s capability in the field and setting up a stage to exchange knowledge and methodology with other ASEAN member countries.
In recent years, the world has witnessed emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases such as bird flu, severe acute respiratory syndromes or SARS, H1N1 influenza virus and Ebola.Thailand must, therefore, be prepared to deal with possible outbreaks of these or new diseases in the future, said the Minister.