Emerging disease surveillance and response

Asia Pacific Workshop on Multisectoral Collaboration for Prevention and Control of Zoonoses

27 - 29 November 2013, Kathmandu, Nepal


Approximately 60% of all human infectious diseases and 70% of those reported in the last 30 years are thought to have originated in animals. New pathogens from animals, particularly viruses, remain unpredictable, continue to emerge and spread across countries. The advent of SARS and avian influenza has further underscored the importance of zoonotic diseases and their impact on health and economic development, international travel and trade. Recent outbreaks of avian influenza A(H7N9) in China and Middle-East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS CoV) in Middle East countries have reminded us to promote a holistic, multidisciplinary approach for surveillance and response to zoonotic events of public health and/or economic importance.

The emerging and re-emerging zoonotic infections pose significant threats on health security, livelihood, food safety, food security and international trade of livestock and livestock products. To effectively address zoonoses and emerging diseases at the human, animal and ecosystem interfaces, One Health, which emphasizes multi-sectoral and multidisciplinary approach at various levels (international, regional, national and community levels), is increasingly being adopted. In order to ensure a multi-disciplinary approach, both human and animal health sectors need to further strengthen their own capacities and the animal-human health sector coordination mechanism.

The Food and Agriculture Organization, World Organisation for Animal Health, and World Health Organization (FAO, OIE and WHO) have institutionalized a tripartite coordination mechanism at global and regional levels and three organizations are working together at country level for surveillance, prevention and control of zoonoses and emerging diseases at the human, animal and ecosystem interfaces. It has been agreed to organize a tripartite regional workshop annually to provide a platform to review the progress made by Member countries and FAO, OIE and WHO in prevention and control of zoonoses and to define way forward to promote multisectoral coordination and collaboration at the human, animal and ecosystem interfaces. As such, a regional workshop on collaboration between human and animal health sectors on zoonoses prevention and control has been organized annually since 2010. We here propose the organization of the fourth such workshop to be held from 27 to 29 November, 2013 in Kathmandu, Nepal.

The objectives of the meeting are:

  • to provide an update on zoonotic diseases at global, regional and country levels;
  • to review the progress and experiences, and identify opportunities, barriers, and gaps in coordination and collaboration mechanisms between various relevant sectors at international, regional, and national levels for operationalization of "One Health";
  • to share the lessons learnt from recent outbreaks of avian influenza A(H7N9) event in China and novel coronavirus in Middle East countries and prepare plans to develop standard approaches and tools for detecting, investigating and responding to future threats due to emerging zoonotic diseases; and
  • to make recommendations on the way to improve collaboration and coordination between human, animal and environment sector for zoonoses prevention and control, focussing on unexpected emerging events.