In a significant regional meeting titled “Beyond the HLMs: One Region: From Unified Vision to Action,” stakeholders from 18 countries across the Asia-Pacific region gathered in Siem Reap, Cambodia, from June 19 to June 21, 2024, to discuss and strategize on critical health issues. The conference saw the participation of over a hundred representatives, reflecting a collective determination to address tuberculosis (TB), respond effectively to pandemics, and achieve universal health coverage (UHC). Despite notable progress, participants agreed that substantial work remains.

Download the Siem Reap statement here.

Key resolutions on TB prevention, diagnostics, and treatment 

The meeting highlighted the necessity of making TB prevention, diagnostics, and treatment more accessible, affordable, and high-quality through innovative, people-centered, rights-based, and gender-transformative approaches. It emphasized the importance of local pharmaceutical companies producing WHO-approved drugs. Additionally, culturally appropriate treatment literacy campaigns were advocated to educate healthcare providers and TB communities, aiming to reduce stigma and discrimination associated with TB. The stakeholders also called for increased community mobilization and TB activism at the grassroots level, ensuring the inclusion of key and vulnerable populations in National Strategic Plans (NSPs).

Addressing climate justice, one health, and antimicrobial resistance 

Stakeholders underscored the integration of mental and physical health in climate and environmental policies. They urged the development of adaptive policies responsive to the vulnerabilities caused by climate change, especially for key and vulnerable populations, to enhance climate resilience. The importance of community engagement in climate change policy development was highlighted, calling for the implementation of the Social Participation Resolution.

Strengthening pandemic preparedness and response

The meeting called for the inclusion of civil society organizations (CSOs) and communities in decision-making processes to ensure people-centered policies. Strengthening the multi-sectoral capacities of countries was deemed crucial, with a focus on universal social protection, local manufacturing capacity, and supply-chain management to ensure sustainable access to essential medical countermeasures. Additionally, the importance of disseminating accurate information through credible mass media and combating fake news was emphasized.

Universal health coverage and social protection

Participants recognized UHC and social protection as pivotal in tackling access to new TB prevention, diagnostics, and treatment services. Expanding the role of civil society and communities in disease and pandemic preparedness and response surveillance was also discussed, highlighting the need for investment in these areas.

Call to action

The Siem Reap Statement concluded with a unified call for joint action towards a people-centered, just, equitable, gender-transformative, and community-inclusive health response. The commitment to pursue these goals beyond TB, UHC, and pandemic preparedness and response was reaffirmed, aiming for accountable health responses for all.