The Federal Government says it’s committed to eliminating major diseases in the Asia-Pacific. The health minister told a major summit in Brisbane, it would only be of benefit to Australia if our region’s developing nations had better health.

Ashleigh Dwan reports.

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Health officials from 37 countries have gathered in Brisbane for the World Health Organisation’s Western Pacific conference.

During the week they’ll discuss key issues including the elimination of communicable diseases, food safety and strengthening the regulation of medicines.

After the traditional opening ceremony, the Federal Health Minister told delegates the partnership between regional countries has never been more crucial.

Greg Hunt, Federal Health Minister: “So there could not be anything more important than the regional cooperation and the global cooperation which the World Health Organisation has brought over its life.”

A key goal is improving the health and welfare of the western pacific.

Olivia Lawe Davies, World Health Organisation: “We’ve got about 1.9 million people in this region so the decisions that are going to be taken here this week by the health leaders are going to affect lots of peoples lives going forward.”

Conference organisers are encouraging member nations to share their health concerns.

Olivia Lawe Davies, World Health Organisation: “Making sure that we’re promoting health to achieve sustainable development all around the world and not leaving anybody behind.”

It’s the first time the World Health Organisation has held the event in Brisbane.

The Regional Committee hopes to strengthen the relationships of all 37 countries while it shares medical and drug developments.

Benefiting Australia and the region.

Ashleigh Dwan, QUT News.