One Health Partnership to strengthen animal and human health

Approximately 75 percent of emerging infectious diseases are zoonoses or diseases that spread from animals to humans. To better prevent and control infectious disease, systems for human health and animal health need to be closely linked.

Australia’s Indo-Pacific Centre for Health Security is partnering with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) to strengthen health security in the region, including through National Bridging Workshops (NBW) that aim to bring human and animal health colleagues together to identify priority areas for action and collaboration.

Nick Harris at OIE Bridging Workshop

OIE’s work will focus on countries of the Indo-Pacific with a program of National Bridging Workshops and support in Cambodia, Fiji, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. With Australian support, a regional workshop was held in Bangkok from 10 to 13 December 2019.

The regional workshop included a simulation of assessing a hypothetical country’s Performance of Veterinary Services (PVS), and a session on how to manage an evaluation after an assessment of the animal health system. OIE’s Sub-Regional Representative for Southeast Asia, Dr Ronello Abila, said the workshop aimed to provide participants from across Southeast Asia with a deeper understanding of the PVS Pathway Cycle.

"The OIE is very happy with continuing support from the Australian government provided to strengthen the capacities of veterinary services in the region,” Dr Abila said. “Capacity building is a long-term process and this project will build on the achievements of previous initiatives supported by Australia to improve training and knowledge in veterinary services across Southeast Asia and the Pacific,” he said.

The Partnership is one of the Indo-Pacific Centre for Health Security’s One Health approaches to system strengthening. One Health recognises that the health of people, animals and the environment are interconnected.

“Our partnership with OIE is a critical part of Australia’s regional commitment to health security and a recognition of the value we place on a One Health approach and deepening links between human health and animal health systems,” said Robin Davies, Head of the Indo-Pacific Centre for Health Security.