The first cohort of ASEAN-Australia Health Security Fellows commenced at Australian National University (ANU) in February, as part of a major investment by the Health Security Initiative to build workforce capacity for health security in the region. The four Fellows will undertake studies as part of the Master of Philosophy in Applied Epidemiology (MAE) and conduct field work on health security threats in Cambodia and Laos.
Following consultation with partners in Cambodia and Laos and a detailed selection process, Vannida Douangboupha (from the National Centre for Laboratory and Epidemiology in Vientiane, Laos) and Srean Chhim (from the Institut Pasteur, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia) were chosen from a wide field of infectious disease experts from ASEAN countries.
Two Australians have also been named ASEAN-Australian Health Security Fellows for 2019. Emily Holt will be conducting research at the National Centre for Laboratory and Epidemiology in Laos, and Eleanor Kerr will be based at the Institut Pasteur in Cambodia.
The Fellows will work together through the MAE program at ANU, which is Australia’s only field epidemiology training program and part of an international network of field training programs in epidemiology and public health. Combining course blocks in Canberra and field work on real disease challenges, graduates of the MAE have gone on to support and lead global efforts to prevent and control disease outbreaks.
The ASEAN-Australia Health Security Fellowship program was announced in early 2018 following the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit in Sydney and aims to build critical workforce capacity for health security and strengthen people-to-people links in the region.