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It has been a year since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the COVID-19 pandemic was no longer a public health emergency. This edition of The ASEAN showcases the resilience and adaptability demonstrated during a pandemic that has had a profound socio-economic impact on our region. As we gradually recover, the threats of other infectious diseases and outbreaks loom. The question remains: Are we better prepared to detect, respond, and prevent another large-scale health crisis?

As Chair of ASEAN in 2024, the Lao PDR prioritises health resilience, focusing on strategies to handle future health emergencies. During its ASEAN Chairmanship in 2023, Indonesia spearheaded the One Health Initiative. This initiative underscores the vital interconnections between health, environmental, and climate changes.