Dr. Romeo S. Gundran, dean of the College of Veterinary Science and Medicine (CVSM), attended the First International Consultation Workshop to Develop a Strategic Framework and Plan for Veterinary Epidemiology Capacity in Southeast Asia held at Plaza Athenee Bangkok, Bangkok, Thailand on August 18-19, 2011.
Dr. Gundran was among the 20 participant representatives from ASEAN institutions and international agencies involved in epidemiology capacity building in different countries who attended the two-day workshop.
Participants of the workshop were selected epidemiologists from member countries, national and international agencies like the FAO, World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), educational and research institutions actively engaged in the region, public health agencies and a non-governmental organization.
The workshop, organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), is part of a series of consultations and meetings conducted to initiate the development and implementation of a strategic plan for epidemiology within countries and in Southeast Asia.
In the workshop, the following key topics were discussed. (1) Review ad benchmarking of existing didactic and in-service epidemiology in the region for veterinarians and para-veterinarians; (2) Visioning exercise – developing a realistic vision for epidemiology capacity in the region; (3) Identifying strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats/SWOT analysis related to the strategy; (4) Stakeholder analysis and defining a strategic framework – Identify four or five key strategic issues as well as strategic objectives, strategies (including resources) mechanism and key organizations related to the strategic plan and the planning process; (5) Prepare recommendations and input for countries and regional organizations in Southeast Asia to initiate a formal regionally driven, five-year plan for building epidemiology capacity.
Outputs of the participants and facilitators include: (1) Benchmark of existing epidemiology capacity building in the region; (2) A five-year vision statement build veterinary epidemiology capacity in Southeast Asia; (3) SWOT analysis of internal and external factors; (4) overall strategic framework: objectives, mechanisms and resources; (5) recommendations to present at a proposed formal regional meeting.
The two-day workshop was facilitated by Dr. John Edwards, past dean of the Veterinary School in Murdoch University in collaboration with technical specialists from the FAO Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases (ECTAD) Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (RAP) and other key agencies and institutions.
--Fely V. Manaois II, CVSM