South East Asia
Regional Area Councilor: Umesh Kapil

IEA/SEA maintains its own website.  Regional News is featured below.

The health system in most countries of WHO South-East Asia (SEA) Region face a serious challenge with the current convergence of factors such as the recent economic crisis, climate change, emergence of new infectious agents, rising burden of non-communicable diseases, and the continuing poor health indicators, especially the high child and maternal mortality. The situation has been further aggravated by the increasing emphasis on urban facilities for tertiary care. This focus is not limited to the private sector; public sector too spends the vast majority of its budget on urban hospital based care. To respond effectively to these challenges, strategic thinking and strengthening of public health infrastructure and capacity is required today, as never before. This calls for enhancing efficiency of public health system, evidence based prioritisation and focusing on Equity and Social Justice in order to protect the poor and the most vulnerable populations. A basic tool for such decision making is Epidemiology. Epidemiology is the science that focuses on the distribution of health and of the determinants of deviations from health in populations. The IEASEA Region website is an opportunity to bring together various stakeholders and create valuable learning experience on how to provide quality health services which reach out to all the population, regardless of their status, poverty, and location, with equity and social justice as prime guiding principles. Believing strongly that the tool of epidemiology has the potential to empower scientists and programme managers to accurately and reliably gather evidence about the relevance, severity, frequency of occurrence and course of specific diseases in the community, the website seeks to create an opportunity to demonstrate, share experiences and discuss about the application of epidemiological principles for public health action. The main objective is to promote the role of epidemiology for public health action and advocate for its application for national program development and management, be it communicable diseases, non-communicable diseases, maternal and child health, environmental health or health system development.


Regional News

 Statement on COVID 19 (3/25/2020) 

 IEA SEA Regional Meeting, September 2019 (12/10/2019) 

IEA SEA organized a Regional Group Meeting in Colombo, Sri Lanka - 19-21 September 2019. 

Over 250 free paper presentations, two plenary sessions, 12 symposiums with interactive dialogue and nine pre-congress one-day workshops were featured. The meeting of the International Epidemiological Association (IEA) was held along with the 24th Annual Academic Sessions of the College of Community Physicians of Sri Lanka. The theme was "Smart Investment for Universal Health Coverage." 

The event was attended by more than 400 participants from South East Asian countries, plus Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America. Many public health professionals, epidemiologists, academicians and stakeholders gathered to contribute towards human well-being through research, publication, networking, capacity-building and advocacy.

All abstracts presented in the conference have been published as a supplementary volume of Journal of the College of Community Physicians of Sri Lanka (Volume 25 - Issue 3 -Supplement – September 2019). The programme book, abstract book and the photos are available in the conference web site IEA members can also view a summary of the abstracts on this website by logging into the Members Only area.


 SEA 2018 Conference Summary (7/12/2019) 

Conference Summary of the 13th IEA-SEA Meeting

Bali, Indonesia - 2-5 October 2018

This summary captures a three-day conference with presentations, plenary sessions, symposiums, panel sessions with interactive dialogue and a one-day workshop at the 13th Southeast Asia Regional Scientific Meeting of the International Epidemiological Association (IEA) joined with International Conference on Public Health and Sustainable Development with the theme “Enhancing Evidence-Based Health Policy for SDGs Achievement.”

The event was attended by more than 400 participants from South East Asian countries plus Australia, Nigeria, Argentina and the United States of America. Many public health professionals, epidemiologists, academicians and stakeholders gathered to contribute towards human well-being through research, publication, networking, capacity-building and advocacy.

All abstracts presented in the conference will be published as proceedings in BMC Public Health Journal with quality (Q1) and after the conference, are also invited to publish their papers as supplement in BMC Public Health Journal.

The conference began with a welcome speech by Executive Chairman Defriman Djafri, MPH, PhD. This was followed by the by the President-Elect of IEA, Professor Chandra Mani Pandey and the Regional Councilor of IEA-SEA, Professor Umesh Kapil. The opening remarks were made by the Head of the Bali Provincial Health Office, Dr. I Ketut Suarjaya. Some of the other notable guests attending the meeting included the Head of Denpasar City Health Office, Representative of Andalas University, Representative of Udayana University, President of Indonesian Epidemiological Association (PAEI), Director of Field Epidemiology Training Programme (FETP) Indonesia & Indonesian Public Health & Health Professional Union (PERSAKMI).

Professor Vinod K Srivastava, the IEA-WHO liaison, delivered the keynote speech, a presentation about Maternal and Child Health in SE Asia: Status, Achievements & Challenges. The conference had three plenary sessions, an IEA symposium, 25 parallel oral presentations and two poster session presentations.

The first plenary focused on “Public Health Achievement: Where We Are Now?” The speaker, Professor Anizah Ismail from University Kebangsaan Malaysia, talked about “Non-Communicable Diseases Burden in Developing Countries.” The Director of FETP Indonesia, Dr. I Nyoman Khandun, talked about emerging and re-emerging diseases, and that was followed by Professor Umesh Kapil talking about “Scientific Evidence for Universal Supplementation of Vitamin A in South East Asian Countries: Current Scientific Evidence.”

Plenary Session Two focused on “Global Challenges for Good Health and Well-Being.”  Speakers included the Director General of Disease Prevention and Control of the Ministry of Health, Indonesia, Dr. Anung Sugihantono, who talked about “The Importance of Evidence-Based Health Policy for SDGs Achievement and Advancing Universal Health Coverage from Financing to Best Practices on Diseases Control.” The WHO Indonesia Representative talked about “Malaria, AIDS, and Tuberculosis Global Strategy” and Dr. Umar Ibrahim from Nigeria talked about “Introduction to Planetary Health: An Emerging Field of Transdisciplinary Collaborations for Sustainable Development.”

The third plenary session was titled “Evidence-Based Approach: Epidemiological Value in Advancing Public Health Policy.” In this session Siyan Yi, MD, MHSc, PhD from Singapore talked about “Improving Quality of Health Data in Developing Countries,” the President of Indonesian Epidemiological Association Dr. Hariadi W talked about “Advancing Surveillance Systems,” and the President of Indonesian Public Health Professional Union Professor Ridwan Amirrudin, talked about “Cause & Effect Association: The Key of Effective Public Health Policy.”  Professor Virasakdi Chongsuvivatwong from Prince of Songkla University Thailand talked about “Analysis of Big Health Data.”

All conference materials can be downloaded using these links:

Keynote and Plenary Session [] ,

Workshop Materials []

Parallel Oral Presentations []

Program Book with ISBN []

Conference and Workshop Photos [] & []

The Conference Highlights Video [] .

The conference was also covered in local media. That coverage can be viewed using these links: []  & []

We are delighted to have had the opportunity to produce this very productive conference. We wish to start by conveying again sincere gratitude to the IEA headquarters, the IEA-SEA, Andalas University, Udaya University, PAEI, FETP, PERSAKMI and the committee for their dedication in organizing this event and for their warm hospitality. We particularly commend the excellent teams and volunteers who have worked so hard and diligently to make this conference run well, smoothly and successfully.

In conclusion, we would like to re-emphasize how to promote evidence-based health policy for SDGs achievement. We are public health professionals, epidemiologists, academics and researchers; together we can do this!!! We should work hard to contribute new ideas, technologies, methods and new innovations to solve problems in the future.

Nothing is perfect in this world, and we kindly apologize that if there was a mistake, error or inconvenience in organizing this event.

Finally, we look forward to seeing all of you at the next IEA event, and to hosting the 2023 World Congress Epidemiology 2023 in Goa, India. We miss you all. Thank you very much.

Executive Chairman,
Defriman Djafri, MPH, PhD
Dean, Faculty of Public Health, Andalas University []

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 South East Asia Regional meeting on the epidemiology of non-communicable diseases (4/26/2017) 

The South East Asian Region of IEA held a workshop and training meeting on 10-15 April 2017 at Pokhara, Nepal, on the epidemiology of non-communicable diseases. The workshop and training meeting was attended by 86 scientists from Nepal, India, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. The Workshop focused on evidence based strategies for prevention and control mainly for cardiovascular diseases, but also for chronic kidney diseases, stroke, diabetes, cancer and mental health in South East Asian countries and globally.

The workshop was inaugurated by Dame Valerie Beral from the University of Oxford, and IEA. The keynote address was given by Dr. Jos Vandelaer, World Health Organization Representative to Nepal.  Both emphasized the key role of epidemiology in addressing non-communicable diseases in South East Asia.

Eminent faculty members provided training by presentations and taking practical epidemiological   exercises.  The presentations covered the concepts of risk, risk factors and risk assessment; study designs; the epidemiology of cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disorders, cancer, diabetes and metabolic diseases; tobacco, alcohol, diet, physical activity and obesity and disease surveillance, including cancer registration.


 IEA-SEA Workshop and Training on “Epidemiology of Non-Communicable Diseases”, 10th – 15th April, 201 (2/7/2017) 

Workshop and training on “Epidemiology of Non-Communicable Diseases” organised by SEA chapter of the International Epidemiological Association which will be held from 10-15th April 2017 at Pokhara Grande Hotel, Pokhara, Nepal.

The theme of the conference is “Epidemiology of Non-Communicable Diseases”. The Workshop and Training will consist of presentations and hands on exercises on variety of issues.

This Workshop and Training will offer a wonderful opportunity to discuss important issues, sharing information and exchange ideas in the field of “Epidemiology of Non-Communicable Diseases”.

The Workshop and Training will cover important topics like epidemiology, burden and impact, determinants, role of health promotion, evidence based public health interventions, multi-sectoral actions, cancer registration and cancer control, surveillance, research priorities, monitoring, evaluation and measuring cost effectiveness of interventions in the field of Epidemiology of Non-Communicable Diseases. It will also cover National Non-Communicable Diseases Programms, roadmap and challenges for integration within different NCDs and addressing co-morbidity with communicable diseases.

Epidemiological skills are essential for every scientist in medical and affiliated fields. Modern epidemiology is not only concerned with the study of distribution and determinants of disease frequency in man but also helps in identifying risk factors of chronic diseases, evaluating treatment modalities and health services, it has given newer off-shoots eg. clinical epidemiology, cancer epidemiology, neuro-epidemiology, genetic epidemiology. So, all the specialties of medicine are welcome to participate in this Workshop and Training. Your active participation and contribution in various scientific sessions will make this event a real success.