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Countries in Asia continue to suffer from the damaging impacts of infectious disease, including HIV/AIDS, avian influenza, malaria and tuberculosis (TB), which cross national boundaries. Southeast Asia in particular is susceptible to new diseases and drug resistant strains of tuberculosis and malaria. Hunger and vulnerability to hunger also persist in Asia, which is home to nearly two-thirds of the world’s poor. For example, there are approximately 536 million undernourished individuals in Asia, including close to 20% of children under age 5 in Southeast Asia and 40% in South Asia.
USAID helps countries stop the spread of HIV/AIDS by implementing replicable prevention, care and treatment model programs that target most-at-risk populations in Burma, Laos and Thailand. USAID helps Asia-Pacific countries address the spread of TB and multi-drug resistant (MDR) TB by scaling up new diagnostic tools; providing technical assistance for lab systems strengthening; training national and non-governmental staff in MDR-TB and TB case management; and advancing operational research on the implementation of new approaches and tools, especially in border areas. Through the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), USAID implements programs to control the development and spread of drug-resistant malaria, through personal protection, rapid and high quality case management, drug quality control and disease surveillance. USAID and the Thai Government have also launched their first ‘trilateral aid’ effort, combining expertise and other resources to reduce multidrug resistant malaria along the Thai/Burma border. Through PMI, six countries in the region have an established surveillance network to monitor anti-malarial drug resistance. USAID builds on accomplishments in the effort to combat avian influenza by strengthening the ability of countries to detect and contain emerging infectious disease—at their source in animal reservoirs—before such pathogens threaten global public health. USAID has also partnered with the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) to identify and mitigate emerging infectious disease risk throughout the Mekong region.
Last updated: January 12, 2015