In the face of unprecedented global health challenges, the ASEAN BioDiaspora Virtual Center (ABVC) has emerged as a pioneering force in the realm of infectious disease analytics within the region. ABVC has evolved into a crucial player in the battle against infectious diseases, leveraging big data analytics to monitor, analyse, and disseminate information. Over the past century, global disease outbreaks have increased, with a 17 per cent chance of another pandemic in an individual's lifetime, potentially increasing to 44 per cent in the next few decades. However, identifying the pathogen remains challenging.
The genesis of ABVC traces back to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Philippines, where it embarked on its mission to provide timely and comprehensive insights into the evolving landscape of infectious diseases. Presently headquartered in Indonesia, ABVC has expanded its purview to include an array of emerging diseases. Additionally, ABVC actively monitors infectious and emerging diseases based on the frequently reported diseases in the ASEAN Region.
One of ABVC’s standout features is its commitment to transparency and accessibility. The centre produces a spectrum of reports, including the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) for infectious and emerging diseases in the region. These reports serve as a valuable resource for policymakers, healthcare professionals, and researchers, offering a comprehensive overview of disease trends, risk assessments, and emerging threats. ABVC’s reports are currently accessible through the ASEAN Public Health Emergency website, and the centre has focus plans to enhance its digital presence by 2024.
Looking ahead, ABVC envisions the creation of an interactive data hub that connects regionally and globally. This initiative aims to open access to infectious disease data, foster collaboration between government and non-government organisations, researchers, and empower the public with knowledge. The data hub will serve as a dynamic repository, allowing users to explore, analyse, and contribute to the collective understanding of infectious diseases in the ASEAN region.
The multifaceted reports generated by ABVC cater to diverse audiences. In addition to the MMWR, the centre produces focused reports on specific diseases, ensuring stakeholders can access in-depth analyses tailored to their areas of interest. Moreover, disease alerts are formulated to enhance preparedness and response to biological threats.
ABVC’s commitment to knowledge dissemination extends beyond traditional reports. The centre actively engages with the general public through social media advisories, providing accessible and digestible information that aids in promoting awareness and understanding of infectious diseases.
In conclusion, the ABVC stands at the forefront of biological threats in the ASEAN Region. With its expanding catalogue of reports, digital initiatives, and pledge to transparency, ABVC is poised to catalyse a paradigm shift in the way the region responds to health emergencies. As we navigate an era of evolving health threats, ABVC emerges as a beacon of innovation, collaboration, and knowledge-sharing for the benefit of the ASEAN Community.