Newly funded: Strengthening field epidemiology training programs for veterinarians to detect and respond to infectious disease outbreaks

February 18, 2021

As part of a University of Sydney-led consortium of experts in Australia, New Zealand, and the Asian-Pacific, Andres Perez, DVM, PhD, professor in the Department of Veterinary Population Medicine and director of the Center for Animal Health and Food Safety, received approximately $85,000 from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to lead the only US-based efforts in the project seeking to strengthen field epidemiology training programs for veterinarians. When disease outbreaks emerge in human or animal populations, epidemiologists seek the cause and determine how to control or stop the spread or prevent it from happening again. Veterinary epidemiologists play a vital role in detecting, predicting, and managing disease. The eighteen-month project builds upon the team’s strong history of developing and delivering culturally relevant training in advanced epidemiologic skills to veterinarians around the world. Via online modules and in-person workshops delivered in the local language, the training uses locally pertinent case studies to develop skills in risk assessment and analysis to apply to disease outbreaks. From 11 countries across South East Asia and the Pacific, veterinarians from Cambodia, Fiji, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Vanuatu, and Vietnam will participate in the training and will use what they learn to shape intergovernmental policies and frameworks that impact and advocate for global progress and change.