The USAID-supported Emerging Pandemic Threats (EPT) program RESPOND project organized a wildlife health capacity assessment forum, August 13 – 15th in Bangkok.  Co-hosted by the Royal Thai Government, Department of National Parks, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation; Zoological Park Organization; and Mahidol University, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, the forum convened over 70 wildlife health professionals from Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and the U.S. to discuss development of national wildlife health services and trends in wildlife health, with a focus on infectious disease surveillance and control.  SARS, Nipah virus, and avian influenzas are just several examples of infectious diseases originating in wildlife that have recently spilled over into human and domestic animal populations as a result of human-induced environmental change. Participants explored regional assets, including field epidemiology training programs and platforms established under ARREST, ASEAN-WEN, and the Southeast Asia One Health University Network, to be leveraged in support of biodiversity conservation and mitigation of risks from emerging infectious disease originating in wildlife populations.

Source: Health Matters Newsletter RDMA/Office of Public Health