PREPARE Diagnostics Co-op (i.e. DxD Hub), ASEAN DxI and Institute of High Performance Computing (IHPC) organised the first iteration in a series of four thematic workshops: Research, Engagements and Alliance for Diseases caused by Infections (READI) which focuses on Peacetime Research on Biological and Physical Detection Technologies for Surveillance and Diagnostics.

The first READI workshop, held on 15 - 19th May 2023 was themed around Peacetime Research on Biological and Physical Detection Technologies for Surveillance and Diagnostics with the following intended outputs:

  • Building a network of scientists and institutes in ASEAN committed to research in preparation of Disease X.
  • Building a portfolio of domains and projects of interests for potential regional research collaborations.

ASSESS Phase 1: 6th PI Meeting in Singapore

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, an ASEAN Sero-Surveillance Study (ASSESS) was designed to assess the immunity status of populations in the region before and after vaccination, providing crucial data on seroconversion, vaccine effectiveness, and antibody waning.

The ASEAN Sero-Surveillance Study held on November 10, 2022, also aimed to monitor the rate of seroconversion of neutralizing antibodies, as well as to evaluate the half-life of the vaccines post-vaccination in order to contribute data on seroconversion towards public health policy making. 

Pandemic Preparedness and Health System Resistance Track at TP Pinnacle Series @ 7th World One Health Congress

At the invitation of SingHealth and Temasek Foundation, DxD Hub organised and curated a 2-hour lecture on transformational innovation for preparedness and resilience at the Sands Convention Centre in Singapore. The session showcased distinguished speakers from Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR).

The lecture, held on November 10, 2022, during the 7th World One Health Congress, attracted over 250 participants from different countries, both online and in-person. Attendees were engaged with discussions on World Health Organization Sustainable Development Goals, innovations for pandemic preparedness, and strategies to enhance resilience against future pandemics in ASEAN. The event provided a platform for networking and fostering relationships to drive impactful changes in the health system within the region.

Accelerating Diagnostics Access in ASEAN Regional Consultation (ADAA) 

The ASEAN Regional Consultation was organized by ASEAN DxI and London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) as a proactive step to consolidate the learnings and recommendations from ASEAN countries for future pandemic preparedness.

The ASEAN Regional Consultation, held on February 16, 2022, sought to share key findings, experiences, and best practices of AMS countries, as well as to establish follow-up measures needed in diagnostics capacity building based on the lessons learned over the years of the pandemic. The discussions during the session generated some common considerations that focused around four areas:

  • Regulatory
  • Product development & quality assurance
  • Diagnostics capacity building
  • Collaboration with public health and policy makers.

Click here for the full report.

<Webinar> The Emerging Threat of Arboviruses: What can ASEAN do to prepare for this epidemic?

Arbovirus infections such as Dengue, Chikungunya and Zika viruses continue to pose significant challenges to public health globally. Recognizing the gravity of this, the World Health Organization (WHO) launched the Global Arbovirus Initiative in 2022 to raise awareness, and convene partners to strengthen coordination, communication, capacity-building, research, preparedness, and response to mitigate the growing risk of epidemics due to these diseases.

Epidemics caused by arboviruses are pivotal focal points in ASEAN regional pandemic preparedness. This webinar aims to bring together field experts who will share their current insights into these challenges. By fostering discussions, the webinar seeks to spark ideas for robust regional collaborations to address the impact of arbovirus infections in the ASEAN community.

Watch the webinar here:

Click to view the  The Emerging Threat of Arboviruses Webinar Report


<Webinar> Vaccines and Immunity: Is Omicron the last threat?

SARS-CoV-2 variations are keeping us on our toes in our fight against COVID-19. WHO announced in late November that there is a Variant of Concern (VOC), Omicron, with 32 mutations in the spike protein. This is about double that of the Delta strain, which is currently dominating COVID-19 infections around the world. This new VOC is expected to be more transmissible and infectious than the Delta strain. How quickly and widely would Omicron spread? Would it dominate the other variants? Would this new variant reduce vaccine effectiveness? In this webinar, we will discuss the recent developments in our fight against COVID-19 and changes in vaccination programmes to effectively combat Omicron.

Watch the webinar here:

Click to view the  Vaccines and Immunity 2 Webinar Report


<Webinar> Vaccines and Immunity: When can we achieve herd immunity?

Aggressive vaccination programmes are underway in ASEAN, even as new variants appear on the horizon. What do we know about these variants and the challenges they pose to sero-conversion in a vaccinated population, longevity of host immunity, and achieving the ‘holy grail’ of herd immunity? Earlier estimates for achieving herd immunity to SARS-CoV-2 were 60-70%. The new estimate is 80-90% due to the spread of SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant, according to a report from Infectious Diseases Society of America on Aug 3, 2021. In this webinar, we will discuss ongoing vaccination efforts using various vaccines, challenges posed by mutating virus and possible approaches to eventually achieve herd immunity to SARS-CoV-2.

Additionally, the webinar will introduce the ASEAN Serosurveillance Study for COVID-19 Vaccines. The study is coordinated by ASEAN Dx Initiative and supported by Temasek Foundation.

Watch the webinar here:

Click to view the Vaccines and Immunity Webinar Report


<Webinar> Genomic Surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 Variants: What is the impact and why we need it now?

SARS-CoV-2 has been continuously mutating. The delta variant is now the dominant variant globally, and the lambda variant has already spread to 29 countries. Details about the evolution of the virus are analysed by epidemiologists to advise about incidence, distribution, and control of diseases. Understanding the evolving genome sequences of SARS-CoV-2 informs participants two important things – how the virus is mutating and how it is moving through the population. In this webinar, we will introduce the use of Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) for virus variants surveillance. With public health interventions adjusted accordingly, we can control the rampant spread of new variants through the country and globally.

Watch the webinar here:

Click to view the Genomic Surveillance Webinar Report

<Webinar> Direct PCR as an alternative platform to conventional PCR

Viral RNA detection through RT-PCR is WHO’s recommended confirmatory test for SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, many countries faced challenges in ramping up RT-PCR testing capacity, such as shortage of swab sticks, transport media, RNA extraction reagents and costly platform equipment. The testing demands have led to the development of alternative PCR protocols with similar sensitivities to relieve the testing load. In this webinar, we discuss how using direct PCR test can manage COVID-19 testing demands. 

Watch the webinar here: 

Click to view the Direct PCR Webinar Report

Click to view the ASEAN Dx Preparedness Webinar: Testing Platforms

<Webinar> COVID-19: Vaccines, Immunity, and Diagnostics

As excitement soars over pending COVID-19 vaccination programmes in 2021, it is timely to know how an effective vaccine works in producing virus neutralizing antibodies in recipients that generates immunity, and how serology monitoring can measure herd immunity.

In this webinar, Prof. Wang Linfa will explore the importance of serology testing in managing the next phase of COVID-19, how it may impact public health policies, and its role in enhancing our preparedness for future pandemics.

Dr. Sergio Carmona and Dr. Emma Hannay will discuss the efforts of FIND in guiding and providing access to tools supporting the fight against the pandemic. This is done through the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, an initiative led by FIND, the Global Fund, WHO and other global partners.

Watch the webinar here: 


ASEAN DxI First Call for Proposal

ASEAN DxI conducted its first call for proposals in 2019. This exercise resulted in the identification of four key disease areas: Dengue, Hepatitis B, Malaria, and Tuberculosis, as regional priority areas of unmet clinical needs. These areas were identified by the Initiative’s then-Strategic Planning Panel comprising stakeholders from each AMS.