One Health Project

In 2009, a European Commission evaluation mission identified an urgent need to further applied epidemiological skills in human and animal health within South Asia. In 2010, the World Bank approved a plan from Massey University to implement a two-phase program to develop a capacity-building program to strengthen responses to outbreaks of major zoonotic diseases in South Asia. To achieve this goal, the One Health Network-South Asia was created to enhance in-country and regional capacity in epidemiology and bio security. The One Health Network-South Asia forms a foundation for collaboration, resource sharing and communication between public health, domestic animal health and wildlife health professionals. The existence of this network is facilitating the development of effective disease surveillance activities, contributing towards reducing the risk of disease incursions, and enhancing the response to emerging infectious diseases in the South Asia region. As part of the second phase of this program the SAARC countries establish eleven epidemiological Collaborative Investigation Projects focused on national zoonotic disease priorities in their countries. These CIPs are epidemiological projects that are focused on the national disease priorities, critical needs and key constraints identified after consultation with each country. Implementations of two highly successful CIPs were in our country were enhancing rabies control program and evaluation of one effectiveness of One Health Approach to the Zoonosis Management in Bhutan between Human and Animal Health. Descriptive Data analysis workshop using Epinfo was held in September 2013 and was attended by the staff of Department of Livestock, Department of Public Health and by Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority The National One Health Symposium in Bhutan was organized jointly by the National Centre for Animal Health; Department of Livestock, Ministry of Agriculture and Forests; and the Department of Public Health, Ministry of Health for three days (18th-20th November 2013) in Phuentsholing and was attended by 40 officials from Department of Livestock, Department of Public Health, Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority, Department of Medical Services, College of Natural Resources and Royal Institute of Health Sciences. The South Asia Regional One Health Symposium was hosted by the Royal Government of Bhutan, as the concluding event of the Regional Training Program on Epidemiology and Bio security for South Asia, funded by the European Commission through the Avian and Human Influenza Trust Fund, administered by the World Bank. Massey University, New Zealand, is the implementing organization.

  • May/08/2014 12:11 AM
  • Lokey Thapa

Emergency Surveillance of Avian Influenza A (H7N9) in Bhutan

Following the emergence of Avian Influenza A (H7N9) in the People’s Republic of China, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests (MoAF) in Bhutan signed a Letter of Agreement (LOA) committing to support the country on “Emergency Surveillance of Avian Influenza A (H7N9) in Poultry and Animal Populations in Bhutan” under the project OSRO/GLO/302/USA/2014. The main objective of the project was to assess the risk of H7N9 incursions through wild birds and updating emergency preparedness and contingency plans for such incursions in Bhutan. As such, the activities related to assessment of the risk of H7N9 incursions and updating of emergency preparedness and contingency plans outlined in the inception report and as required by the LOA were carried out in the country from January 2014 till 31 March 2014. The major activities that were carried out under the project were:  National consultative meeting to discuss on the concept and strategies of the emergency surveillance for H7N9  National consultative workshop to update the emergency preparedness and contingency plans for H7N9 incursions  In-country training workshop to strengthen the diagnostic capacities and upgrade the knowledge and skills of the laboratory/field staffs on the diagnostic techniques and control measures for H7N9  Emergency surveillance to assess the risks of H7N9 incursions through field sampling and laboratory testing  Survey on poultry value chain to study the baseline information and assess the poultry trade and practices in the country A total of 16 districts and 81 sites were involved for the emergency surveillance of avian influenza A (H7N9) in Bhutan. 4058 serum samples from domestic poultry species and 780 environmental samples (fresh fecal droppings) from wild birds were collected during the emergency surveillance. Out of 4058 samples tested for H7 antibody titer by HI test, 0.59% was positive to H7 antibody. Real time RT-PCR was performed for 780 environmental samples for detection of antigen against AI and H7N9 viruses and the results indicated 0.51% positive to Avian Influenza Type A virus. However, all the samples were negative to H7 virus. The positive serum samples were referred to AAHL in Geelong, Australia for re-confirmation against H7 antibodies by HI test and ELISA.

  • May/06/2014 11:44 PM
  • Lokey Thapa