During both animal and human disease outbreaks, field epidemiologists (‘disease detectives’) are needed to help identify the source, trace and predict the spread and plan the best response. But there are insufficient field epidemiologists in many developing countries including in the Indo-Pacific region. There is also a lack of trained experts to help these countries implement their animal health plans.
We will provide a technical expert for up to three years to FAO’s Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases (ECTAD) in Bangkok, Thailand, to provide technical mentoring, support and advice to national governments in Southeast Asia. A key aspect of this role will be to coordinate regional epidemiology capacity building programs, meetings and workshops, as part of the implementation of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ (ASEAN) Strategic Framework for Veterinary Epidemiology Capacity Development and Networking.
ASEAN countries will have assessed their veterinary epidemiology capacity and needs and be running improved veterinary field epidemiology programs. They will also be benefitting from national and regional networks of trained veterinary field epidemiologists that are better able to assist implementation of animal health plans.