Prioritizing Livestock Diseases among ASEAN

Nowadays, there are many animal diseases which are listed as emerging, endemic, zoonotic, reemerging and pandemic diseases. Some could produce a huge impact on livestock production and productivity; some make harm to human health; some could make a problem to companion animals and its associates. As ASEAN is an official community to combat all issues which arise among the region, it needs to work together to obtain the benefit of the region. The issue of livestock diseases become threatening not only trade but also social-economic aspect. Therefore, Member States of ASEAN agree to categorize the prioritization of livestock diseases in term of the severity, technical, socio-economic aspect and human health.
Concerning public health and socio-economic impact, the transboundary animal diseases have been revealed as paramount important livestock diseases in the ASEAN. According to regional tripartite workshop based on individual country priorities, the prioritized diseases are Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS), Classical Swine Fever (CSF), Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) and Bovine Spongiform Encephalitis (BSE) while the recognized major diseases are Rabies, Influenza, Anthrax, Leptospirosis. Based on the consideration of zoonosis and social-economic impact by the ASEAN Member States, the disease control strategies and the follow-up action plan are aimed to developed for the prevention and control of the diseases among the community. Improving multisectoral coordination networks could strengthen for reducing the risk of those diseases. Being a member state of ASEAN, Myanmar has also proclaimed the list of prioritized diseases for One Health. These are HPAI, Rabies, Tuberculosis, Foodborne Pathogen, and Japanese encephalitis which is not consistent for the whole region because of different background status, different veterinary infrastructure and different social economy status.
ASEAN Veterinary Epidemiology Group was officially urged to review the transboundary animal diseases in 27th Meeting of ASEAN Sectoral Working Group on Livestock in April 2019. The process included organizing a training of trainers, a facilitator training for disease prioritization workshop. The methodology was provided by the US CDC and the financial support was provided by FAO and US CDC. During the training, a total of 17 facilitators from 7 Member States and two Plus Three countries. Before the disease prioritization workshop, a total of short list of livestock diseases are proposed by the Member States at least two months ahead and 49 diseases out of 90 proposed disease are selected by online voting of Member Countries. During the workshop, voting members representing Member States agree to set five criteria: economic and trade impact; epidemic/pandemic potential/ epidemic in the region; zoonotic potential and public health impact; prevention, control and mitigation and social, ecological, environmental impact in prioritized order. The pre-selected 49 diseases are prioritized by using the set of criteria and the final result revealed that Anthrax, HPAI, Salmonellosis, Haemorrgagic Septicaemia and Rabies are top five prioritized disease by Member States. It was reported to ASEAN Veterinary Epidemiology Group (AVEG) meeting for further steps. On the prioritized list of the 5 diseases, all except salmonellosis are already on the list of Animal Health and Development Law endorsed by Myanmar Government.
Finally, it is suggested to promote the awareness of livestock industry stakeholders on the transboundary animal disease, and to enhance the collaboration and knowledge sharing in ASEAN for One Health including active participation with immediate reporting on any suspicious. At the same time, the support of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation especially Livestock Breeding and Veterinary Department is crucially important to focus not only for the prevention and control of the livestock diseases but also for the social-economic impact for both national and regional interests with relevant resource expertise and applicable logical approach.

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