KOTA SAMARAHAN: The Sarawak infectious disease research centre is targeted for completion within the next three years.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said this was part of the state government’s plans to tackle the spread of such diseases in the future.
“Last year, the state government decided to set up an infectious disease research centre under the research council.
“This will involve experts including those from Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) along with international (research) bodies who will manage the centre.
“This is a state government project and we have chosen a site near the Sarawak Heart Centre in Kota Samarahan for the project,” he said at a press conference after visiting the Unimas PPV today (June 16).
Abang Johari said the state government would also liaise with other international institutions on the formation of the centre.
It will also tap local health experts such as epidemiologist Prof Datuk Dr Andrew Kiyu Dawie and other experts in the process.
“We have seen certain models such as the centre in Singapore. Of course this will require a large budget. Currently, the state government has allocated about RM200 million to set up the centre.
“The international-standard centre will be to research infectious diseases that may occur in future. To do this, we need a professional and credible research institution to interact with international bodies.
“This is so that we can predict the diseases in the future and the sort of vaccines that has to be produced.
“We have the biodiversity resources, what we need is the skill and we will work together with research institutions including Unimas as part of our strategic planning,” he said.