A One Health approach involving joint activities amongst human, animal and environmental sectors for the control of zoonoses has received increasing attention in recent years given the high proportion of emerging infectious diseases originating from animal species,such as avian influenza (H5N1, H1N1), Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), antimicrobial resistance, Nipah virus and others.
The Regional Training Program in Animal and Human Health Epidemiology in South Asia that has been implemented by Massey University, New Zealand, on behalf of seven countries in the South Asia region has significantly contributed to the development of the One Health approach in this region over the past four years. This program has been funded by the European Commission Avian and Human Influenza Trust Fund and administered by the World Bank.
The aim of the Program has been to strengthen institutional capacities in epidemiology and biosecurity through epidemiology training and operationalizing the One Health concept in national government institutions responsible for control of zoonoses.The program in Bhutan, implemented by the Department of Health and Department of Livestock, has been based on two Collaborative Investigation Projects (CIPs): one to support rabies control and the other to evaluate collaboration and communication between the human and animal health sectors. These CIPs have provided the focus for staff from the human and animal health sectors to work together in designing and implementing the projects and in the supporting epidemiological training activities. The network of people involved in the CIPs forms the basis of the One Health Hub Bhutan (OHHBh).
A specific focus of this Program has been to strengthen professional collaborative networks amongst animal and public health personnelwithin each country and the South Asia region through establishment of a government-endorsed OHH in each of the seven countries, linked to form the regional �One Health Network - South Asia�.
We are currently working to strengthen the OHH in each country by expanding the focus of the OHH from supporting the CIPs to supporting the wider range of One Health activities in the country for managing endemic and emerging zoonotic diseases.
Hubnet is a web-based communication and collaboration system that has been set up through the Regional One Health Training Program. This system provides a secure online environment for each One Health Hub to share information and resources amongst its own members and to publicise information on One Health activities, projects and useful resources to members of OHHs in other countries and other interested parties through the Regional One Health Network-South Asia.Hubnet is a regional platform for strengthening communication and collaboration to support the One Health approach both within each country and within the region.
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